Born on January 1, 1915 in Union Springs Alabama to sharecroppers, Dr. John Henrik Clarke had always been aware that the history of his people has been omitted from textbooks and the Bible since his childhood. “I saw no African people in the printed and illustrated Sunday school lesson,” said Dr. Clarke, and it was that which started his journey towards gaining new knowledge. Dr. Clarke devoted his life to studying the history of his people and during the process he traveled all over the globe. During his journey, he began to see that the history of African people had been hidden not only in America but all over the world. Hidden in plain sight, Dr. Clarke learned that the history of man started with African people and decided to tell the world to help uplift his people.
As a professor emeritus at Hunter College in New York, he was known for his detailed lesson plans on African history. So much that even the Schomburg Library in Harlem asked him for copies of his work. Despite having only an 8th grade education, Dr. Clarke learned all he could about African history and in the process, created a career for himself. With 6 books, 59 short stories and 17 book edits, Dr. Clarke provided African people with a wealth of knowledge of the greatness of Africa.
A world renowned lecturer, Dr. Clarke studied African history in every country of the rich continent except South Africa. He was a driven man because he was aware that the stories of greatness pertaining to African people had been excluded from the pages of history books. Dr. Clarke died at the age of 83, leaving a legacy for millions of African people to learn from. I am blessed to have come in contact with the works of Dr. Clarke, and I felt compelled to spread this information about a historical titan and a great soul. Thanks to Dr. Clarke, people around the globe now have greater access to African history. I salute Dr. Clarke and encourage you all to study his work and give praise to a champion of African history and consciousness. Dr. John Henrik Clarke, we stand on your shoulders.
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