Today is International Women's Day 2018
Call Delicia Deen 843.901.0190
Today is International Women’s Day 2018 – a universal day for celebrating women + their achievements, and also calling for gender parity. The day has been observed since the early 1990s and each year adopts a theme.
In honor of IWD, I wanted to share some notable South Carolina women from the past who made an impact on a national scale. (Thank you for paving the way, ladies.)
Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune was born to former slaves in Mayesville, S.C. (Sumter County) in 1875. She was determined to help break the circle of poverty in African American communities through education,+ she started a school for African-American girls in 1904 (later known as Bethune-Cookman University). She worked under the FDR administration as Special Advisor on Minority Affairs, + went on to start the National Council for Negro Women in 1935. You can see her portrait in the S.C. State House.
Septima Poinsette Clark
Septima Poinsette Clark was born in Charleston in 1898 and is known as the “Queen Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” She was a major leader in organizations like the NAACP, + helped start Citizenship Schools across the South, which taught African Americans to read so they could vote. MLK Jr. asked her to come with him to receive the Nobel Peace Prize because he said she deserved it just as much as he did. Baller.
Clelia Peronneau Mathewes McGowan
Born in Columbia in 1865, Clelia Peronneau Mathewes McGowan served on the South Carolina Board of Education for 7 years + was the first woman elected to public office in Charleston. She served as a social activist on the Committee on Better Race Relations and the Charleston Free Library, + was also a writer.
Eliza Lucas Pinckney
Eliza Lucas Pinckney was born in the West Indies in 1722 before her military family relocated to S.C. in 1738. A few years later, she “single-handedly” launched the state’s indigo industry when her father sent her some indigo seeds from the West Indies.
Modjeska Monteith Simkins
Modjeska Monteith Simkins was born in Columbia in 1899 + became S.C.’s “matriarch of Civil Rights activists.” She was a Benedict College grad and co-founder of Victory Savings Bank, as well as a correspondent for the Associated Negro Press. She was also elected as the first female secretary of the NAACP’s South Carolina state conference, + was a key part of the influential Briggs v. Elliott case.
Althea Gibson was born in 1927 in Silver, S.C. (Clarendon County) before her family settled in N.Y.C., where she became a women’s tennis champion at age 12. She went on to be the first African American tennis player to win Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Championship, and the US Open. Yas, queen. In fact, she was the first African American to ever even play at Wimbledon, and she won the dang thing. She was also a performer, actress, + writer.