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IDS 320-050

Life and Works of John Henrik Clarke

Web Assignment - Fall Semester, 2006

Visit the Clarke Course MySpace Page
 

Student:  T. Waddell

Fall 2006

 

LIST OF GREAT BOOKS ONE MOST HAVE IN ONES LIBRARY

 

Sample Cover

 

 

The Middle Passage:

White Ships/ Black Cargo 
   
by Tom Feelings (Illustrator), John Henrik Clarke (Introduction)

 

The Middle Passage focuses attention on the torturous journey which brought slaves from Africa to the Americas, allowing readers to bear witness to the sufferings of an entire people

 

Introduction to African Civilizations
by John Jackson

(Adapted by  John Henrik Clarke)

 

The book challenges all the standard approaches to African history and will, no doubt, disturb a large number overnight "authorities" on Africa who will discover that they do not really know the depth of African history and the role that Africans played in creating early human societies.

 

Christopher Columbus and the

 Afrikan Holocaust

by John Henrik Clarke

 

John Henrik Clarke presents an interesting book that asks the question "Where's our Memorial?" The Jews, Irish and Asians remember what happened to them, but somewhere down the line, we forgot. As Dr. Clarke says, this was the biggest crime in history. Europeans set in motion a type of slavery that was inhumane and savage-like.

 

       

 

 

Sample Cover

Black American Short Stories
by
John Henrik Clarke (Editor)

 

The success of John Henrik Clarke's "American  Negro Short Stories, "first published in 1966, affirmed the vitality and importance of black fiction.

 

William Styron's Nat Turner: Ten Black Writers Respond
by
John Henrik Clarke

 

 Malcolm X: The Man and His Times
       by
John Henrik Clarke (Editor)

 

An anthology of Malcolm X's writings, speeches, and manifestos.

 

 

     

 

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African People in

World History

by John Henrik Clarke

 

This lecture surveys the impact African people have made on world history. Dr. Clarke guides the reader along a narrative journey that spans from antiquity through present times.

 

New Dimensions in African History:  From the Nile Valley to the New World
        by
John Henrik Clarke (Editor)

 

Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa
 by
John Henrik Clarke (Editor)

 

A collection of articles by and about Marcus Garvey which provides an illuminating portrait of his life and work, aspirations and accomplishments.

 

 

     

 

The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861

Carter Godwin Woodson

 

 

 

The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861
by
Carter Godwin Woodson

 

Africa Counts: Number and Pattern in African Culture

by Claudia Zaslavsky

 

 

My Life in Search of Africa

by John Henrik Clarke

 

This book finally uncovers the tumultuous life of this great figure. Through a series of autobiographical essays, Clarke looks back on his lifelong struggle to restore African history to its proper place in the context of world history.

 

       

 

Africans at the Crossroad: Notes on an African World Revolution

 

Harlem Voices from the Soul of Black America

by John Henrik Clarke

 

Africans at the Crossroads: Notes for an African World Revolution

by John Henrik Clarke

 

This book contains essays focusing on the African and African American freedom struggle in the African world, as well as detailed discussion of the uncompleted revolutions of five monumental African leaders.

 

Harlem USA

by John Henrik Clarke

 

This book about the neighborhood of Harlem includes an essay by James Baldwin, who grew up there and who knows it well.

 

 

       

 

 

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A Short History of the World

by H. G. Wells

 

These first real humans beings we know of in Europe appear already to have belonged to one or other of at least two very distinct races. One of these races was of a very high type indeed; it was tall and big brained. One of the women's skulls found exceeds in capacity that of the average man to-day. One of the men's skeletons is over six feet.

 

A Modern Utopia

by H. G. Wells

 

Since this may be the last book of the kind I shall ever publish, I have written into it as well as I can the heretical metaphysical skepticism upon which all my thinking rests, and I have inserted certain sections reflecting upon the established methods of sociological and economic science. . . .

 

 

The Outline of History (Vol. I & II)

by H. G. Wells

 

 


 

Student:  I. A. Fonah

Fall 2006

 

CROSSWORD PUZZLE based on John Henrik Clarke's African People in World History

 

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW African People in World History?

In his book titled, African People in World History, John Henrik Clarke gives a brief summary of Africans in the framework of world history. The puzzle is based on the book so; you  have to read the work before completing the puzzle.

Directions: First, fill in the blanks. Then you use the words you find to answer the puzzle

Fill in the blanks

  1. “History is a _________ that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day.

  1. The land of the burn face people is also called____________.

  1. Ghana, Mali, and ____________ are the great empires of the west.

  2. Egyptians called their land_____________.

  3. “The real father of medicine” is _____________.

  4. “Tried to save Egypt from the worst aspect of Roman domination.”____________

  5. First to convert to Islam after Mohamed _____________.

  6. Built magnificent cities in Spain.______________.

  7. Founder of the Mali Empire_____________

  8. His great pilgrimage began in 1324______________

  9. Transatlantic slave trade sought to ____________ the slave.

  10. Africans were brought to South America and the Caribbean to replace  _________

  11. “The plantation system was a natural_____________ for slave revolts”.

  12. The French called runaway slaves ______________.

  13. Most successful slave revolt in history was the______________ slave revolt.

  14. Gave birth to the back to Africa idea_____________

  15. The only black man to succeed in building a mass movement among African Americans___________

  16. __________ and Bobby Seale organized the Black Panther Party.

  17. First African American to bid for president since Shirley Chisholm__________

  18. The first prime minister of Ghana was_____________

 

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Answers: 1. clock  2. Ethiopia  3. Songhay   4. Ta-Merry   5. Imhotep   6. Cleopatra  7. Bilal   8. Moors   9.  Keita  10. Mansa Musa 

              11. Dehumanize  12. Indians  13. Incubator   14. Maroons  15. Haitian  16. Cuffe  17. Garvey  18. Newton  19. Jackson  20. Nkrumah


Student: V. Correa

Fall 2006

 

Veronica Correa a psychology major at Medgar Evers College.  One of her responsibilities in the course, Life and Works  John Henrik Clarke is to collect all of Dr. Clarke’s famous quotes so that students and people from around the world can apply his quotes to their everyday lives and to keep his recognition and contribution to African history alive.

 

Dr. John Henrik Clarke is well known as a master teacher, prolific writer, historian, and a lecturer.  His publications of poetry and short stories are numerous. He is the  author and editor of  more than two dozen books.  However, Dr. Clarke  is best recognized as an African Nationalist and we must also honor  him as the correctionist of Africa world history.

 

Famous Quotes of John Henrik Clarke

 

“History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day

 It is also a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human

 geography.  History tells a people where they have been and what they have

 been, where they are and what they are.  Most important, an understanding of

 history tells a people where they still must go and what they still must be.”

African People in World History, p.11.

 

“Although the cultural achievements of Egypt were acknowledged, Egypt was

 conceived of as European rather than African.”

 African People in World History, p.12.

 

“It is unfortunate that so much of the history of Africa has been written by

conquerors, missionaries, and adventures.”  African People in World History, p.14.

 

 “The last flickering flame of Nile Valley civilization ended during the Roman

 occupation of Egypt.”  African People in World History, p. 28.

 

“The tragic and distinguishing feature of the slave trade that was introduced by

 Europeans was that it sought to dehumanize the slave.”  African People in World History, p. 52.

 

 “Three great rulers, Sundiata (1230-1255 A.D.), Sukura (1285-1300 A.D.) and

 Mansa Musa (1306-1332 A.D.) made Mali one of the great empires of West

 Africa during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.”  African People in World History, p. 36.

 

 “An apprentice would serve his seven years and take floggings as his master saw

 fit; a hired servant would carry out his contract for his term of service.” 

 African People in World History, p. 55.

 

“Marcus Garvey was a man of his time who, in retrospect, was ahead of his

 time. His ideas have since resurfaced and are being seriously reconsidered as a

 major factor in the liberation of African people the world over.”

African People in World History,  p. 74.

 

“Stories were told to illustrate truth and morality, if the truth gets across, the

 illustration you used to make the point need not necessarily be the truth.” 

My Life in Search of Africa, p. 6.

 

“When the Europeans emerged in the world in the fifteenth and sixteenth

 centuries, for the second time, they not only colonized most of the world, they

 colonized information about the world, and they also colonized images,

 including the image of God, thereby putting us into a trap, for we are the only

 people who worship a God whose image we did not choose.” 

My Life in Search of Africa, p. 8.

 

“I began to read religious literature.  I did not lose the concept of God, but I

 gained the concept of spirituality which is higher than the concept of religion.”

 My Life in Search of Africa, p. 17.

 

“Spirituality was here before religion was here and that foreigners turned

 spirituality into religion and turned the religions against each other, and said

 that God ordained what they were doing therefore making God a bigot, and an

 accomplice to their deeds.”  My Life in Search of Africa , p. 17.

 

 “Africans had their form of socialism before Europeans had shoes or lived in a

 house that had a window and did not have to wait for Europe to bring socialism

 to the world.”   My Life in Search of Africa, p. 24.

 

“If a young man marries a girl and he does not have enough money to set up a

 house with her, she lives with her family and he comes to see her and have his

 last meal of the day with her, spend some personal time with her, spend time

 with her children, then he goes on over to his house to sleep or to his mother

 and father’s house, and she stays right there and sleeps with her parents.

 Therefore there are no teenage pregnancies.  They are properly married.  This

 could be a kind of an alternative for us if we want to consider it.” 

 My Life in Search of Africa, p. 26.

 

“The Africans did not have nation-state; they had territorial sates, and there is a

 big difference between the two.  Territorial sates have no tight borders.  This

 means that the cultural entities in one state can relate to those of the other state

 because nearly all states are multiethnic in character.”  My Life in Search of Africa, p. 29.

 

 “Black studies is not a separate entity; we are talking about the missing pages in

 the history of the world.  We are talking about not only the cheating of Black

 students of information they need in the world of tomorrow, we are talking

 about the cheating of White students also, because in the world of tomorrow

 both White students and Black students will have to look at each other from

 different point of view than preciously, with a different set of information.  So

 it’s just as valuable to them as it is to us because in the world of tomorrow they

 will be dealing with African people from different perspectives.” 

 My Life in Search of Africa, p. 34.

 

“I’m not copping out into non-violence because I don’t believe in non-violence.

 I believe in it as a strategy only.  I do not believe in it as a way of life.  But if

 you’re going to restore humanity to the world, you’ve got to fight for a

 restoration of the humanity of all people.”  My Life in Search of Africa, p. 35.

 

“What we’re going to have to do is to reclaim those things that belong to us, and

 we have to prepare for it.  We must develop a temperament for freedom, and we

 must learn some lessons from history that lead to our liberation.  And we must

 locate ourselves on the maps of human geography.”  My Life in Search of Africa, p. 35.

 

“We must stop being cultist consumers and become producers of some of the

 things we wear, and some of the things we eat.”  My Life in Search of Africa, p. 36.

 

 “We must listen to some of our messengers that we’ve misunderstood.  Booker

 T. Washington had something to say, but not all things to say.  W.E.B. DuBois

 had something to say, but not everything to say.”  My Life in Search of Africa, p. 36.

 

“My serious study of African people has taught me that the relationship of a

 people to their history is the same as the relationship of a mother to her child.”

  My Life in Search of Africa, p. 37.

 

“Many Western educated Africans have been brain-washed in believing that

 Africans has no answer for Africans problems.  Africans have to develop their

 own solutions for African’s problems because Europe has no answer.” 

 My Life in Search of Africa, p. 43.

 

“We have developed a habit of following people who don’t know where they are

 going because we want to be like other people.  We live with the illusion that

 we’re just like other people, we’re just as good as other people.  That’s not what

 you need to prove.  Maybe your salvation might be that you are not like other

 people.  Maybe your salvation might be that you came out of a society that had

 a humanity different from that of other people.  I don’t accept ideas of cultural

 superiority and inferiority.  I deal with cultural variances, cultural infusion and

 diffusion.”  My Life in Search of Africa, p. 43. 

 

“Europe traditionally slaves its problems outside of Europe, and the Europeans

 are geniuses at draining the diseased pus of their political sores on the lands of

 other people.”   My Life in Search of Africa, p. 45.

 

“And once more Europe is solving its economic problems by holding on to the

 gold and diamonds in Africa.  Holding on to the resources of Africa, and again

 the left is no different from the right in this regard.”  My Life in Search of Africa,  p. 45.

 

 “One thing about history is that if you open one door, ten other doors open.” 

 My Life in Search of Africa,  p. 46.

 

“I maintain that Black people can’t even afford to be schizophrenics.  We live in

 a society where pressure is so hard on us, we have to be ‘multi-phrenics’.  You

 need six personalities just to survive as Black people.  Two personalities just

 won’t do. We can’t even get through the day with just two personalities.  We

 have to have a whole bag of masks and put them on when necessary.  If you see

 a particular individual coming, you put the appropriate mask on.  We choose

 what mask we’re going to put on to cover our real self.” 

 My Life in Search of Africa,  p. 48.

 

“We think integration means you’ve got to go to bed with somebody.

 Integration does not mean inter-sexual, integration does not mean that you still

 can’t have Black preference, and integration does not mean you have to stop

 eating corn bread.”  My Life in Search of Africa,  p. 63.

 

“It has made us more, more of a man, by virtue of the fact that we’ve realized

 something that the European man does not realize; that the woman is the giver

 of life, and that you cannot have a society where one half of that society is

 barred from full participation in society.  You cannot imprison her brain and

 build a new society because you need the input of all minds.” 

 My Life in Search of Africa, p. 70.

 

“What I intend to do is to take Black studies beyond Blackness, and to look at it

 as part of an international arena, and to call your attention to the fact that it

 should have never been called Black studies in the first place because it wasn’t

 just about Blackness.  Black tells you how you look but Black does not tell you

 who you are.  The proper name of a people must always relate to land, history

 and culture, and any time you address any people if the name you call them fails

 to relate them to land, history and culture, you have not connected them to their 

 original geography.  There’s nothing wrong with the word “Black,” it’s an

 honorable word.  But it’s not the name of a people, it’s just a color.” 

 My Life in Search of Africa, p. 87.

 

“Because we are prisoners to image, but he made a critical decision in the 15th

 and the 16th-century, and that is who so ever controls the world it is going to be

 one of them.”   My Life in Search of Africa,  p. 88.

 

 

“I am one of those they call revisionist.  I’m not a revisionist, I’m a

 correctionist.  I’m not trying to stand history on its head: I’m trying to stand

 history on its feet.”   My Life in Search of Africa, p. 89.

 

“The European learned in the 15th an the 16th-century that you cannot

 successfully oppress a consciously historical people because a consciously

 historical people will not let it happen.”  My Life in Search of Africa, p. 92.

 

“The Western educated African has crippled every state in Africa with this

 assumption.  There is not one state in Africa ruled by Africans that is using an

 African approach to the rule of government.  They do not understand that the

 African did not create the nation-state.  The nation-state is a European creation.

 The Africans created the territorial sate with loose borders, where an entire

 people, hundreds of the thousands, walk across, come and stay for ten years and

 move onto some other place–people with cattle, people with all kinds of herds.”

 My Life in Search of Africa,  p. 92.

 

“No one has ever done Africa any favors.  Everything and every people who’ve

 come into Africa have done Africa more harm than good, that includes

 Christianity, that includes the missionaries.” 

My Life in Search of Africa,  p. 123.

 

“A lot of words we think have been around forever like Semitic or anti-Semitic,

 we quite forget that that word came out of the seventeenth-century and wasn’t

 Semitic originally.  There are Semitic languages: there’s Black Semitic

 speaking people, White Semitic speaking people, Brown Semitic speaking

 people.  We  are talking about a linguistic classification.  You can’t be against

 all of them, but  the European has a way of monopolizing a word to the extent

 that when you use it you’re only talking about him.” 

 My Life in Search of Africa,  p. 118.

 

“Africans in the United States and the Caribbean islands have technical and

 industrial know-how.  Once they put this talent together, they could go back

 and join with the Africans in partnerships to build the roads and manage the

 hospitals, to do what we have to do in order to maintain a nation.” 

My Life in Search of Africa,  p. 120.

 

“We have to understand another talent that the African American has that a lot

 of people don’t pay much attention to–that he is the only African trained in

 combined operational warfare, land ,air and sea.  He wasn’t trained to help

 Africa, he was trained because his oppressor needed him to be trained in that

 way.”  My Life in Search of Africa, p. 120.

 


Student: A. M. Schrouter-Gayle

Fall 2006

 

Ann Marie Schrouter-Gayle is a freshman at Medgar Evers College, pursuing a degree in Nursing.

Reflections on Dr. John Henrik Clarke

From my point of view as a student in the Life and Works of John Henrik Clarke course, I think he was a great and eminent elder scholar and historian. He was the Chair of Black Studies and a Master Teacher. John Henrik Clarke was a great scholar in the area of Black Consciousness and Afrocentricity. Although he was totally blind towards the end of his life, he still managed to teach and write books.                                                 

A man from humble beginnings, John Henrik Clarke was born January 1, 1915 into a landless sharecropper family in the back woods of Union Springs, Alabama. His father’s greatest dream was for him to own land and to become an independent farmer.

After having learnt to read from an early age, John Henrik Clarke’s intelligence blossomed and from there he took it to great heights. He became a Nationalist and a Pan Africanist. Dr. Clarke was well grounded in world history. He lived in Harlem where he searched for the true history of his people. He gained important knowledge about how to study history from Arthur Schomburg, Willis Huggins, Charles Seiffert, William Leo Hansberry, John G. Jackson, and Paul Robeson.                         

I truly appreciate his life’s work and his dedication to the enlistment of the black spirit. Many thanks to you, Dr. Clarke,  for passing down your teachings to us so it may open our eyes to the truth. 

I quote from one of his many poems. This poem is called, Determination

                                  My feet have felt the sands

                                  Of many nations,

                                  I have drunk the water

                                  Of many springs

                                  I am old,

                                  Older than the pyramids,

                                  I am older than the race

                                  That oppressors me.

                                  I will live...

                                  I will out -live oppression.

                                  I will out- live oppressors.

 

A Letter to Dr. John Henrik Clarke

 

Dear Dr. Clarke,

 

     I personally think that you are a master scholar and an extraordinarily intelligent person.  I consider you my mentor as I pursue the study of African people.  People will benefit a great deal from your pioneering work in this field.  The lessons you have taught us and the knowledge we have received from your counseling will serve us as educators.  Dr. John Henrik Clarke, you are one of Africa's brightest sons of our century. May your work continue to give us wisdom and may the blessings of our ancestors continue to kindly grace us.

 

Thank you,

 

A. M. Schrouter-Gayle

 


Student:  Mary Gibbs

Fall 2006

 

Ode to an African Sage (John Henrik Clarke)

 

Son of the soil why do you

look down with sadness in your eyes?

Prince of the Ewe people,

your head

remains bowed as you

stare unseeingly

into the distant future,

one which

appears much too bleak and familiar-

that of a lifetime of

ignorance and indifference

by your people.

Son of African descent

your strength is sapped from

the lengthy

journey you have traveled

in search

of yourself,

of your legacy,

your people,

your heritage…….

from the depths of poverty

and drudgery

knowing not always where

but going

and growing

in knowledge and strength

about your ancient

motherland

of kings and queens,

of vast

kingdoms of plundered riches

stretched across

placid emerald forests,

dry, dusty desert lands,

over gigantic mountains and plateaus,

into fertile river valleys.

Africa, a vast and

beautiful motherland:

the bosom of knowledge

and the

cradle of great civilizations

erased into darkness

by the enslavement of an

innocent trusting people

stealing their land

and their glory,

over which your

once proud ancestors marched

with vigor

and determination towards

that which you now

hold nearest and dearest

to your heart.

Yet today,

as you look far and beyond,

you do not smile.

Instead your heart is full

of sadness

and nostalgia

for the trail you have trodden

for the knowledge,

you have gained

all seemed to be in vein

as your weary step slow

with age and almost lost hope

for the successful

survival of your people

now in mental bondage.

A people sluggish, and more

often than not

undesireous

of threading the pathway

of knowledge and discovery

that you

have dedicated your life

to accomplishing and sharing

with those

whose very survival depends on

the wisdom of

your words that is are as old as time,

pointing the way

to success and glory

to a lost, untutored children.

And yet the blood of our people

have not been spilled

in vein!

We have heard your voice,

we are listening to your plea,

indeed,

your greatest charge,

to find, and know ourselves,

and to claim

our ancestral legacy,

our motherland,

under the ever watchful eyes of the gods.

 


Student: Glennell Haye

Fall 2006

Dr. Clarke Photo Gallery

 

This is the photo gallery of Dr. John Henrik Clarke. Dr. Clarke has influenced a large number of people so it is good to have a developing gallery of him for others to see. I ask others that have any photos of the late Dr. John Henrik Clarke to submit their photos for this site by contacting Dr. Clinton Crawford at sankofawp@netscape.net