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Josephine Dobbs Clement, a longtime advocate for public education, civil rights leader, and the first black woman to sit on the Durham, N.C., school board, died March 23 in Atlanta. She was 80.

Mrs. Clement was instrumental in pushing the Durham public schools to integrate. During the 1950s, she and her husband filed lawsuits to obtain equal educational opportunities for their children in the city school system.

The City Council appointed Mrs. Clement to the school board in 1973. At the time, the board was involved in crafting a plan for integration of what was still largely a racially segregated school system. Mrs. Clement remained on the board until 1983, serving five terms as its chairwoman.

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