Florence Clinton – Simpson was born April 8, 1915 in Raleigh, N.C. Her grandfather was Doc Adams a freed slave. Her God mother is the granddaughter of Frederick Douglas’, Aunt Louise.
Her mother instilled in Florence the importance of an education. After learning how to play the piano from the White people she worked for, she taught Florence how to play the piano at the age of six. After teaching Florence all she knew, she had her take piano lessons from a teacher that taught her for 50 cent a lesson. Florence then taught her sister, Lydia.
Around 1926, the family migrated north, as many African-Americans did in search of a better life.
It was in the New Jersey and New York areas that Florence graduated from high school, and got her first job playing the piano at church, where she met her husband to be. Florence worked with Adam Clayton Powell as a secretary under the National Youth Administration.
Florence married and moved to Washington, D.C.. She has three children as with her mother she was a strict displinarian and they all have college degrees. They lived about five blocks from the White House. Little did she know that in her lifetime the first Black President would be living in the White House.
When the family moved to Baltimore Maryland, Florence was employed as a secretary in the Personnel Office at Morgan State University. While she took classes and received a BS degree in Gerotology at the age of 68.
Florence worked setting up Senior Programs in centers while playing for a church with her daughter. She moved to West Palm, Fla. and later to Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
She is an active church member and pianist at the Salvation Army for their weekly senior meetings.
Florence is still learning new things. Her hobbies include reading, playing the Psaltery (a harp like David in the Bible played), playing the piano, writing a book about her life, collecting lighthouses and health articles.
She enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren whenever she can.
At 100, she is mentally alert and she accepts her aging mobility. Everyday she tries to spend time sitting in the sun, “It’s GOD’s medicine,” she says. She takes vitamins, a few prescriptions, eat right (bowl of oatmeal everyday) and her daughter, now her mother (smile) is always near and keeps her busy with a daily schedule.
Happy Birthday Mr. Florence from the The Westside Gazette Family!
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