Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 19:11:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Art McGee <>
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Subject: [BRC-NEWS] Celebrating the Life and Legacy of John Henrik Clarke

Celebrating the life and legacy of John Henrik Clarke

By Liz Hender, The Daily Challenge, Vol.6 no.95, 14 July 1999

A week long celebration honoring the life and legacy of revered scholar, the late Dr. John Henrik Clarke, is taking place in the village of Harlem and beyond from July 10–July 17, 1999.

Unfolding under the theme Imperatives of The Legacy, churches, libraries, parks, universities, theaters and television and radio programs will become venues for celebrations ranging from a reception co-hosted by New York City Borough President C. Virginia Fields and the Board for the Education of People of African Ancestry at the Schomburg on Sunday, July 11 to a memorial service on Friday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at the historic Canaan Baptist Church which is pastored by Rev. Wyatt T. Walker. Opening in Roy Wilkins Park on Saturday, July 10 at Lake Uhuru with remarks from Solomon Goodrich, president of the Southern Queens Park Assn., Dr. Adelaide Sanford and Dr. Leonard Jeffries, the historic week will bring together admirers, students, colleagues and friends in tribute to his genius.

The enormous educational and cultural contributions made by Dr. Clarke during his lifetime will be the focus of a variety of educational and cultural programs activities in Black communities in most of the boroughs. Sponsors of the Memorial Week, the Board for the Education of People of African Ancestry, invited organizations, institutions and individuals who associated with the renowned scholar to collaborate in the celebration week in their chosen manner. The response has been excellent.

Dr. Clarke, in death, continues to influence and connect the people that he dearly loved to their heritage and history.

Born a poor sharecropper's son in Union Springs, Alabama in 1915, John Henrik Clarke was deprived of a formal or traditional education. His insatiable quest for knowledge led him to read thousands of book. His photographic memory enabled him to retain a vast reservoir of facts, dates and historical information. Students and audiences alike were astounded by his ability to discuss in detail countless books and references on African culture, politics and history. His scholarship was enhanced by relationships that he formed with other brilliant men and women. He knew and befriended Malcolm X, Kwame Nkhrumah, George Padmore, numerous African heads of state and most conscious scholars and historians.

A recognized authority on Africa and African World history, Dr. Clarke served as Professor Emeritus of African World History in the Department of African and Puerto Rican Studies in Hunter College in New York City and as a distinguished visiting professor of African History at the Africans Studies and Research Center at Cornell University.

The many books that he had wrote or edited are considered to be treasures of information on the African Historical experience and are must read for students in serious search of factual information on the development and destruction of Africa.

In later life, his health and sight began to fail, yet he continued to write using special equipment, and did so until his passing. Dr. Leonard Jeffries, scholar, historian and activist sums up Dr. Clarke's life as the scholar who inspired us all.

Information and schedules of the Memorial Week Celebration can be obtained by calling 212-283-7287. Contact: Betty Dopson