Dr Clarke



Born 1915 new years day . John Henrik Clarke was a Pan-African writer, historian, professor, and a pioneer in the establishment of African studies in professional institutions in academia starting in the late 1960’s. He was a professor of African world history, and in 1969 he became the founding chairman of the Department of Black and Puerto Rica Studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He also was the Carter G. Woodson Distinguished Visiting Professor of African History at Cornell University’s African Studies and Research Centre.

Clarke arrived in New York in 1933. He would eventually meet personal tutor Schomburg, the scholar whose library became the foundation for Research in Black Culture. Like Schomburg, Clarke said he had been led to study African history after being told that Black Africans had no history before European colonizeation.

He challenged the mostly white academic historians and attributed their reluctance to acknowledge the historical contributions of Black people as part of the systematic and racist suppression and distortion of African history.

Clarke asserted: “Nothing in Africa had any European influence before 332 B.C. If you have 10,000 years behind you before you even saw a European, then who gave you the idea that he moved from the ice-age, came all the way into Africa and built a great civilization and disappeared, when he had not built a shoe for himself or a house with a window ? ”

( Died 1998)

Dr. John Henrik Clarke – The Origin and Impact Of White Racism

Eveline Taylor taught Dr clarke from 5th grade in 1925, in Columbus she said

” It’s no disgrace to be right when everybody else thinks you are wrong. There is nothing wrong with being a thinker…. Your playing days are over. ”

Clarke noticed that although many bible stories were in Africa there was no African people in the printed illustrated Sunday school lessons he wrote in 1985 ” I began to suspect at an early age that someone had distorted the image of my people. My long search for the true history of African people the world over began. ”

This search through his lifetime took him to libraries, museums, archives and collections in Asia Caribbean, Europe and Africa. He then compiled his findings into books including

“HISTORY OF AFRICA ” our people longed for the knowledge of self worth and the Greatness of African people.




Clarke lesson plans became well known for their thoroughness. Filled with references and details he said ” 50 Years from now when people have a hard time locating my grave, they won’t have a hard time locating my lessons. ”

” history is not everything but it is the starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. It tells them where they are, but more importantly what they must be.”