Dr. John Henrik Clarke Centennial Celebration At Medgar Evers Oct. 10

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John Henrik Clarke


John Henrik Clarke was born in Union Springs, Alabama on January 1, 1915 to humble parents who affectionately called him, Bubba. If he were alive today, John Henrik Clarke would have been over 100 years old.

As the eldest son of Alabama sharecroppers, he was constantly troubled by the aggregate of Southern racists’ behaviors and notions that relegated the humanity of people of African ancestry to a place of ill repute.  In many of his lectures and public presentations, Dr. Clarke frequently highlighted a number of questions he did not know how to ask at a tender age. While Dr. Clarke modestly reflected on his own unsophisticated responses, the articulations provided around many of the puzzling questions, led to further inquiry and the subsequent emergence of an intellectual giant, master teacher, historian, literary genius, statesman, spiritual leader, and confidante of African royalty and ordinary peoples on the continent and in the African Diaspora.

Dr. Clarke was a self-described and undying Nationalist, and a Pan-Africanist, first and foremost. He was firmly established as a historian even before taking his first formal course in history. Over-determined by the course and plight of African history on the world stage, John Henrik Clarke came to New York City via Chicago in the early 1930s and elected to settle in the village of Harlem. 

Dr. Clarke strategically built a life of voluminous outstanding scholarship and activism in New York City, which paved the way for the promulgation of institution building, specifically aimed at elevating African people.  In his pursuit to change the historical, political and social landscape of Africans in the Diaspora, Dr. Clarke was responsible for the founding of the Harlem’s Writers Guild, Freedomways, Presence Africane, among others.

 Elder Clarke will be remembered for his many intellectual contributions and profound influence on several generations of African and African American scholars.  Among his many contributions, one must never underestimate his success at situating the following in the spotlight:

That African history is the light of World history;
That Africa provided the prototypical civilizations along the world’s first cultural super high way, the Nile River;
That Africa had many Diasporic civilizations, including the first Black people to inhabit India, the Dravidians, who were responsible for building the great cities of Harrapa and Mohenjo Daro in the Indus Cush Valley;
That the Shang Dynasty, one of China’s greatest, was peopled by an Africoid race of people who gave China its first historical Dynasty; and
That the Olmecs, the African Egyto-Nubian culture, which ruled over Meso-America for fifteen hundred years before giving way in 150 B.C.E. was another example of the African genius.

In his honor and memory, Medgar Evers College, CUNY seeks to remind folk of his numerous contributions as well as introduce him in his own words to those who never had the opportunity to sit at his feet. In this regard then, his centennial will be hosted by the Department of Mass Communications at Medgar Evers College on Saturday October 10, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 1650 Bedford Avenue Founders Auditorium.  

Special appearances and speakers include his widow, Sister Sybil Williams-Clarke, the widow of Ivan Van Sertima, Jackie Van Sertima, Dr. Leonard Jefferies, Randy Weston, Christopher Williams all the way from China via live streaming, and many more.

The highlight is a documentary, John Henrik Clarke: A Man Beyond Time.  For more information, please contact us at crawford@mec.cuny.edu and kdiallo@mec.cuny.edu    Call 718-270-5140 ; http://www.sankofaworldpunblishers.com

Located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Medgar Evers College is a growing institution offering both Associate and Baccalaureate degrees.  The nearly 7,000-member student body is primarily comprised of those who are the first in their families to attend college. 
For more information, visit www.mec.cuny.edu 

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