"...damnit, If you want a friend, look in the mirror."
--Dr. John Henrik Clarke speaking on the Black
Diaspora's search for political allies amongst non-Black people.
There ain't no justice, there's 'just-us'.
--Old African American proverb.
As of late, I've begun expounding on how I don't care about the plights of white, asian and spanish people; and even though this might seem mean-spirited, I'm not doing this merely as an exercise in embracing Black Nationalist extremities, I'm doing this 'cause the only people who talk about or practice any kind of 'multiculturalism' is our people.
It's imperative at some point that the Black Diaspora realize, we have no political allies in other ethnic groups. They either concentrate on their own agendas, or they band together to team up against us.
But hearing that message ad nauseum on this Blog, might result in the message losing its potency. It's kinda' like how I'm stressing subconscious meditation to cure us of the white supremacist induced self-hatred we carry throughout this life; at some point, hearing that same diatribe on this Blog over and over again can get pretty hackneyed.
Thus, I'm happy to have found an advocate in one of our ingenious ancestors, Dr. John Henrik Clarke.
Now, recently, I came across a video taped lecture of Dr. Clarke's called 'You have no friends'; the title pertains again to the Black Diaspora's thinking other ethnic groups have their best interest at heart. And in this lecture Dr. Clarke does a masterful job of elucidating how Black people are under the illusion that by working with other ethnic groups, we can achieve some kind of political camaraderie, that could get us closer to a socio-economic freedom. He tells us to basically wake up and smell the coffee, and puts into historical context how other ethnic groups continually prey on us when we do seek them out for some sort of assistance.
Now, I've never based an entire Blog post around a video, but this is the exception. I was always thinking about writing some sort of homage to Dr. Clarke, but never thought the timing was right. But accompanied by his videotaped message, I think this is the perfect way to introduce him to this Blog's audience. Firstly though, let me give you a bit of a primer as to who this masterful man was.
Dr. John Henrik Clarke was born on January 1, 1915, in Union Springs, Alabama. He was the youngest child of John and Willie Ella Clark who moved to Columbus, Georgia with hopes of earning enough money to purchase some land outright instead of sharecropping.
Dr. Clarke tells a story of how he was working for a white lawyer in his youth, and how he saw the lawyer's library was stocked with books on european history. Dr. Clarke stated to the lawyer how he'd like to read some books on Black history, to which this lawyer replied, "Unfortunately, you come from a people who have no history."
Even as a youth he knew this was a bald-faced lie; and he dedicated his life to finding his people in the annals of the world's historical events.
Clarke left Georgia in 1933 on a freight train bound for Harlem, New York City to pursue academics and activism.
He was 18 when he arrived in Harlem, and his skills as a writer and lecturer would be nurtured during the years of the 'Harlem Renaissance'. He studied history and world literature at Columbia and New York Universities and at the League for Professional Writers. Dr. Clarke was also co-founder of the 'Harlem Quarterly' newspaper (1949-1951), book review editor of the Negro History Bulletin (1948-1952), and a feature writer for the Black-owned Pittsburgh Courier and the Ghana Evening News.
Dr. Clarke became prominent in the Black Power Movement in the 1960's. He advocated for studies in academic institutions that told African history from a Black Nationalist's perspective. One of his peers was quoted as saying, "Clarke was a scholar devoted to redressing what he saw as a systematic and racist repression and distortion of African history by traditional scholars."
Besides teaching at Hunter College and Cornell University, Dr. Clarke founded professional associations dedicated to the study of Black culture. He was a founder along with Dr. Leonard Jeffries (another great Black scholar, google him if you haven't heard of this man) and first president of the African Heritage Studies Association and he was a founding member of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters. He was also one of the founding members of the African American Scholars Council.
At age 78, Dr. Clarke received his official doctorate from California Miramar University in Los Angeles.
Dr. Clarke returned to the ancestors on July 16, 1998.
Now, what makes and made Dr. Clarke deserving of the title 'Master Teacher' was his ability to put dates and world historical events contextually into a modern day perspective. He was able to delineate where and when concepts like greek philosophy were stolen from the schools of ancient Black people and give our diaspora chapter and verse of how they repackaged our sciences and spiritual practices so they could claim them as their own.
I've never asked the readers of this Blog to watch a video I've posted in its entirety, but this too will be the exception. If you are a Black man or woman who fancies themselves a Black Nationalist or conscious at all...or if you're just down for your people, you'd be well served to watch the entire thirty minutes of this video. Reason being, it touches on so many topics pertaining to Black Nationalism. Whether it's the African origins of every religion, or the european creations of male chauvinism and homosexuality, there's something to suit every stripe of Black Nationalist in Dr. Clarke's magnificent lecture.
SO I SAY HOTEP AND KEM WESIR TO THE NEGUS/NETJER/NETER/GOD, DR. JOHN HENRIK CLARKE!
Also, this entry marks a milestone, being that its my 100th Blog post!
I'd like to send a shout out to all the comrades that have been ridin' wit' me for nearly two years; and I'd like to send a special shout out to 'Kev' and 'Clair' for their support in my curating of this Blog. I'd also like to say, there's more e-books and vids in the works and on the way, so if you feel so inclined, stay tuned...you won't be dissapointed.
Enjoy this vid!