John Henrik Clarke Biography Summary

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1. John Henrik Clarke was a self-taught African-American historian; international scholar, pan-Africanist, Black Nationalist, political activist, and pioneer of developing college level African American Studies programs and academic institutions throughout America in the 1960s. The interest in history was infused in him at a young age when his great-grandmother told him stories concerning their family’s experiences in the American enslavement system. When John Henrik Clarke taught Sunday school, he was concerned that there were no Black African people in the Bible. An objective reading of the Bible would show that many of the nations and people in its pages were located in eastern and northern land masses on the continent of Africa, where the skin color of the…show more content…
John Henrik Clarke was an insightful child, born into a poor sharecropper’s family in Union Springs, Alabama, January 1, 1915. His sharecropping and farming parents were named John and Willie Ella Clark. He moved to New York at 18 years old during the Harlem Renaissance movement. John Henrik Clarke developed a desire to learn about Black history when he came across two writers named Arthur Schomburg and Alan Locke, who helped pioneer the cultural, creative, philosophical and intellectual Harlem Renaissance era or New Negro Movement, 1920s and 1930s. Arthur Schomburg 's "The Negro Digs Up His Past" and Alain Locke 's "The New Negro", 1925 essays were postmarks in Clarke’s life to motivate him to take the first real step on the pathway of intellectual development and historical African discovery. In addition, the hard suffering times of Black people during America’s great economic depression, continual racial hatred towards Black people, the increase in Black protest against segregation, and the rise of the millions of Black people in Mosiah Marcus Garvey’s UNIA organization were factors that influence John Henrik Clarke’s development to a great scholar for the benefit of his
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