Margaret Washington Clifford
VHFP Visionary

Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1921

Educator, Granddaughter of Booker T. Washington

Interviewed by Anna Steed
2004 Visionary Heritage Fellow
Wesleyan College

Soon after her birth, Margaret Washington Clifford and her family moved to Tuskegee, Alabama to be closer to her grandfather, Booker T. Washington.  When the family arrived, Booker T. Washington gave them a house near the school’s campus in a small neighborhood known as the Tuskegee College Community.  Mrs. Clifford received her education at Tuskegee from kindergarten through college.  At nineteen years old, she received her master’s degree in Education.  Mrs. Clifford went on to earn her second master’s degree in Counseling from Atlanta University.

After completing her second master’s degree, Mrs. Clifford taught at an elementary school in Florida.  In the following years she returned to Tuskegee and worked in the school’s business office where her passion for student counseling and teaching grew.  After 1960 when she moved to California, she taught for many years in the Oakland Schools System.  She worked her way up from teacher to counselor to Vice Principal.

As a teacher, mentor, and counselor Mrs. Clifford was able to reach out to the younger black community.  She provided countless students with academic guidance and help with jobs searches and career development.  Now, at 83 years old, Mrs. Clifford gives speeches around the country about the legacy Booker T. Washington, his ardor for education, and the invaluable price he placed on it.  Eric Hughes, the great nephew of Mrs. Clifford, describes his aunt as a “wonderful woman who followed in the footsteps of her grandfather.” She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia and is the mother of three children.



URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/cliffordmargearet