Carrie W. Clifford

From Ohio History Central

Carrie Williams Clifford was an African-American author and equal rights advocate during the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries.

Clifford was born in September 1862, in Chillicothe, Ohio. She spent most of her youth in Columbus, Ohio. As an adult, she first taught school in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Clifford eventually met William H. Clifford. The two married in 1886, and they moved to Cleveland, Ohio that same year. William Clifford served in the Ohio legislature. He was one of the first African Americans to do so.

In Cleveland, Carrie Clifford founded the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, an organization created to assist African-American women in attaining equal rights and opportunities. Clifford also became an author, publishing several collections of essays and poems, including Sowing for Others to Reap, Race Rhymes, and The Widening Light. Clifford also served as the editor of the "Women's Department" for the Cleveland Journal, an historically African-American newspaper. She also became a proponent of the Niagara Movement, W.E.B. DuBois's attempt to secure equality for African Americans with whites. Like many African Americans, Clifford objected to the racism and sexism that existed in the United States of America at this time.

In 1908, the Cliffords moved to Washington, D.C., where Carrie Clifford remained active in the Niagara Movement and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Clifford continued to author and to publish essays and poems. She died on November 10, 1934.

See Also


  1. Clifford, Carrie Williams, and Carrie Law Morgan Figgs. Writings of Carrie Williams Clifford and Carrie Law Morgan Figgs. N.p.: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1996.