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Biography

Carrie Williams Clifford (born in Chillicothe, Ohio, 1862; died 1934) was an author and activist in the women's rights and civil rights movements in the United States of America.

Raised and educated in Ohio, Clifford married Ohio state legislator William H. Clifford and founded the Minerva Reading Club, which engaged in literary and cultural activities, and gave members access to a forum for personal development and discussion of current social problems. At the turn of the century, Clifford was involved in the National Association of Colored Women, and she formed the Ohio Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs in 1901.

Clifford's and her family moved to Washington D.C. around 1910, where she maintained friendships with W. E. B. Du Bois, Charles Chesnutt, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and Alain Locke, and hosted regular Sunday evening gatherings with persons such as Mary Church Terrell, William L. Hunt, Amanda Hilyer, Harry T. Burleigh, and Will Marion Cook.

Clifford was also a participant in the Niagara Movement, the predecessor to the NAACP, and was a leader in the NAACP when it was established.

Books

Clifford prefaced her book The Widening Light by stating:

The author makes no claim to unusual poetic excellence or literary brilliance. She is seeking to call attention to a condition, which she, at least, considers serious. Knowing that this may often be done more impressively through rhyme that in an elegant prose, she has take this method to accomplish this end... The theme of the group here presented—the uplift of humanity—is the loftiest that can animate the heart and pen of man: the treatment, she trusts, is not wholly unworthy...she send these lines forth with the prayer that they may change some heart, or right some wrong.

* Race Rhymes. Washington, D.C.: Printed by R. L. Pendleton, 1911.

* The Widening Light. Boston: Walter Reid Co., 1922.

Poems

* "Brothers." Opportunity. 1925

* "Lines to Garrison." Alexander’s Magazine 1 (1906-1907): 8-9.

* "Love’s Way (A Christmas Story)." Alexander’s Magazine 1 (1906-1907): 55-58.

* "Votes for Children." Crisis 10 (August 1915): 185.

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