The Arts & Culture District sign honoring Rachel Parker Dear went up last week. Mounted by Clarksdale Public Utilities, the sign is on the corner of the street where Rachel lived, which shared an alley with Dr. Aaron Henry’s pharmacy on Martin Luther King Blvd. (it was “4th” St. back then).
Rachel Parker was a civil rights and social activist in Clarksdale. The aunt to Clarksdale area bluesman, Junior Parker, Rachel was also a cousin to Clarksdale civil rights leader Dr. Aaron Henry. She was an early member of the NAACP, and it was Dr. Henry caused Rachel to become involved in the civil rights movement.
Rachel was the married mother of a large family. She held several jobs as a homemaker and a worker within the Clarksdale Public School System. She was also a well-known community leader with the Silent Grove M.B. Church.