Sankofa World Publishers
Life and Works of John Henrik Clarke
Web Assignment - Fall Semester, 2006
|Visit the Clarke Course MySpace Page|
Student: T. Waddell
LIST OF GREAT BOOKS ONE MOST HAVE IN ONES LIBRARY
Student: I. A. Fonah
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
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
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
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.
A. M. Schrouter-Gayle
Student: Mary Gibbs
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,
remains bowed as you
into the distant future,
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
journey you have traveled
of your legacy,
from the depths of poverty
knowing not always where
in knowledge and strength
about your ancient
of kings and queens,
kingdoms of plundered riches
placid emerald forests,
dry, dusty desert lands,
over gigantic mountains and plateaus,
into fertile river valleys.
Africa, a vast and
the bosom of knowledge
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
and determination towards
that which you now
hold nearest and dearest
to your heart.
as you look far and beyond,
you do not smile.
Instead your heart is full
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
of threading the pathway
of knowledge and discovery
have dedicated your life
to accomplishing and sharing
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
We have heard your voice,
we are listening to your plea,
your greatest charge,
to find, and know ourselves,
and to claim
our ancestral legacy,
under the ever watchful eyes of the gods.
Student: Glennell Haye
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 firstname.lastname@example.org