Mary Clifford, Storer College, and the Niagra Movement

This photo is described in our collection as “Mary F. Clifford, Student, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va., 1906.” In 1906, Storer College was the host of the second meeting of the Niagra Movement, a black Civil Rights organization that was a predecessor of the NAACP. One of the movement’s leaders was J.R. Clifford, the first African-American attorney to be admitted to the bar in West Virginia. Sources indicate that the credo at the second annual meeting was delivered by J.R. Clifford’s daughter, Mary. Whether this photograph is the Mary Clifford in question is unknown, but it seems likely, since the name, time, and location all match. Further information on the Niagra Movement can be found in the W.E.B. DuBois collection at the archives of UMass Amherst.

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