Cleveland's Black History: Carrie Williams Clifford

Orator, poet and activist

CLEVELAND - Carrie Williams Clifford was born in Chillicothe, Ohio in 1862. This noted orator, poet and activist for women and African-Americans helped found the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women in 1900. She also served as the organization's first president while she lived in Cleveland.

Clifford taught school in West Virginia before she married William H.Clifford in 1886, who was an Ohio state legislator, and moved to Cleveland. She founded and edited the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women and Sowing for Other to Reap which was a federation-sponsored compilation of essays. She was editor of the women's department of the Cleveland Journal, which was a black newspapers.  One of her publications was an essay entitled, "Cleveland and its Colored People" in 1905.

The Cliffords had two sons, Joshua and Maurice. The family moved to Washington, D.C.. in 1908 where Carrie Williams Clifford published two volumes of poetry, Race Rhymes and The Widening Light. She also was an active member of the local and national NAACP.

Carrie Williams Clifford died in 1934.

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