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Along with Vincent Harding, John Clarke hosted the CBS series, Black Heritage. He was

the Dean of the Black Studies movement. He offered solace and direction to many future scholars

and activists in the field, such as Charshee McIntyre, . . . and others.



 Books by John Henrik Clarke

Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism (2002) / My Life In Search of Africa (1999)

The Middle Passage: White Ships Black Cargo (1995) / Africans at the Crossroads: African World Revolution (1992)

Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa (1974)  / Malcolm X: The Man and His Times (1991) /  Black American Short Stories (1966; 1993)

William Styron's Nat Turner: Ten Black Writers Respond (1968) / Harlem U.S.A.: A City within a City (1993)

Introduction to African Civilizations (2001)  / World's Great Men of Color (1996)

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Julius E. Thompson and James L. Conyers, Jr.

Pan-African Nationalism in the Americas: The Life And Times Of John Henrik Clarke. Africa World Press, 2005. 260p

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Pan-African Nationalism in the Americas

The Life And Times Of John Henrik Clarke

 By Julius E. Thompson and James L. Conyers, Jr.

A  Critical Book Review by Obadele Williams


The Student should give back to the world all that’s good that is given to him. John Henrik Clarke


There is an African saying that when an elder dies a  library is burned. It is an apt description of what the African World has lost in the transition of Dr. John Henrik Clarke into the realm of the ancestors. No other paradigm of the essence of a Pan-Africanist has there been, except in the guise of John Henrik Clarke. Throughout a life spanning over 80 years, he sought to define what it is to be an African in the world. His lifelong task had been to find the African, be he man or woman, in the respectful commentary of history. His journey began by searching through the Bible onward to delving into the pages of the history of early man into to the 21st century to find and document that record for the world to see. He was an activist organic scholar, and would engage in grounding with anyone that truly sought to know who they were as Africans.

Africa World Press, publisher of books on and about Africa, has released Pan-African Nationalism in the Americas: The Life And Times Of John Henrik Clarke by Julius E. Thompson and James L. Conyers, Jr. They attempt to capture, in capsule view, a publishing history of Dr. Clarke. They record his writings as a journalist, short story writer, world traveler, biographer and historian. While it is commendable, it lacks the wholeness of Dr. John Henrik Clarke’s lifelong efforts. They fail to include his treatise on Pan-Africanism published by Presence Africaine. Dr. Clarke's published articles on a Funeral Wake celebration among the Ga people are not mentioned. His treatise on Ancient Nigeria and the Sudan is not given the light of day. John Henrik Clarke's work as a researcher and writer for Freedom Newspaper, founded by Paul Robeson, is not featured, along with their mistakenly mentioning that Dr. Clarke founded Freedomways magazine. He was one of the founders. Mistakenly it is stated that he founded the African Heritage Studies Association.

The AHSA was founded in 1968 after the Black members of the ASA (African Studies Association) walked out of the Montreal, Canada meeting. There were previous protest meetings at the African Studies Association meetings in Los Angeles and later at Federal City College in Washington, D.C.  John Henrik Clarke was elected as AHSA’s first president. Dr. Clarke spearheaded the protest. Dr. Clarke felt that it was time for Africans to speak and write their own history for themselves. No record of his participation in the Committee Against the Name Negro is recorded. His participation on the Fair Play For Cuba Committee is emphasized.

John Henrik Clarke attended many important conferences in African and African-American studies, often reporting on the proceedings. Where are those reports? He was also a curriculum consultant in Black Studies before it became popular in academia. Along with Vincent Harding, John Clarke hosted the CBS series, Black Heritage. He was the Dean of the Black Studies movement. He offered solace and direction to many future scholars and activists in the field, such as Charshee McIntyre, Marimba Ani, Jacob H. Carruthers, James E. Turner, Shelby Smith, Leonard Jeffries, Iva E. Carruthers, and others. He is mistakenly cited as having translated Cheikh Anta Diop’s African Origin Of Civilization: Myth Or Reality. Dr. John Henrik Clarke was instrumental in getting Lawrence Hill publishers to publish it in the English speaking world. It was Mercer Cook who translated the book. John Clarke championed Diop’s work and sought to make Diop familiar to the African worldwide.

During 1997 after an illness, a Testimonial was given in Atlanta, Georgia, celebrating his lifelong dedication in Africana studies and his love and commitment to African people. Scholars throughout the U.S. attended, yet it is not mentioned. Some of those tributes should have been included. Four generations of his family were present at the affair. Attorney Percy Sutton fondly speaks of John Henrik Clarke’s Left years as a radical in Harlem. Clarke, in many settings, tells of his membership with the Young Communist League and his 60 year relationship with the Communist Party although never a member of the CPUSA. Clarke raised monies for the Italian-Ethiopian War and participated in events coordinated by the Council on African Affairs. Clarke spent years in Ghana as a feature writer for the Ghanaian Evening News, researching and documenting the lives of African leaders in order to give the black world positive views of what African or black leadership would look like.  The black world anxiously watched the reign of Osaygefo Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana as many African nations began to become independent.

John Henrik Clarke’s relationship with Malcolm X is not given full treatment. John Clarke often would recommend and give Malcolm books to read while posing questions for him to answer in his quest to know the history of the African world. Who was more apt to perform such a task other than Dr. John Henrik Clarke. John Clarke also gave monies to support the struggles of Robert F. Williams in Monroe, North Carolina and was a member of the Monroe Defense Committee.

John Henrik Clarke’s legacy cannot be truly recorded until we do the necessary research which captures his journey toward Africa and her peoples in the affairs of the world. Speak truth to power and show the world that John Henrik Clarke was indeed True of Voice.  

© August 2005

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Baba Obadele Williams

Africana Research Specialist/Photo Journalist/African-American Curriculum Consultant/Author/Conference Coordinator

For over 30 years Baba Obadele has been active in researching African and African-American historical studies as a lecturer, curriculum consultant, journalist and archivist. He was a correspondent for the international journal Africa Must Unite, published by the Arusha-Konakri Institute under the astute editorship of Ruwa Chiri. In his student years as a student at the University of Chicago, he was active in the Black Student Union and editor of the Black student newspaper, Black Rap. He also attended classes taught by the late pioneering Black psychologist Dr. Bobby E. Wright, author of The Psychopathic Racist Personality and Dr. Anderson Thompson at the Black Communiversity in Chicago, Illinois during the 1970s. He further came under the tutelage of the Pan-Afrikanist activist, Ruwa Chiri founder of the Arusha-Konakri Institute and the journal Afrika Must Unite.

From 1973-1978, Baba Williams was instrumental in organizing local Atlanta Marcus M. Garvey celebrations along with Akiba Adande and Khusu Wanzu. As a Photo Journalist he has covered both African Liberation Day Celebrations and the 1st M.L. King, Jr. National Holiday March and Birthday celebrations.  During 1976-78, Obadele served as a staff volunteer at the Institute of the Black World. In 1978 thru 1980, he became a member of the Shrine of the Black Madonna of the Pan-African Orthrodox Christian Church and tutored Basic Training members in African history.

During 1983. he coordinated the Return to the Source Conference featuring Dr. Charles B. Copher, Asa G. Hilliard III, Charles S. Finch III, Runoko Rashidi, Walter Palmer and Charlyne Harper-Bolton sponsored by the Bennu Study Group and Morris Brown College. As a writer his articles have appeared in the Journal of African Civilizations, Fast Forward, the Atlanta Voice newspaper, Return to the Source, History, the Bible and Blackman magazine, IFA News, the Atlanta Inquirer newspaper, Kwanzaa Resource Guide and RAW magazine.

In 1984, Obadele was co-convener of the historic Nile Valley Conference held at Morehouse College that brought over 2500 attendees. Its central theme was to highlight the African origin and contributions to early civilization. Scholars such as Cheikh Anta Diop, Ivan Van Sertima, Jan Carew, John Pappademos, Asa G. Hilliard III, Beatrice Lumpkin and Hunter H. Adams were presenters. In 1985, as a photojournalist he documented Cheikh Anta Diop’s 1st visit to U.S. soil and is the ket archivist and co-editor of the definitive treatment of Diop’s work on the African Origin of Civilization titled, Great African Thinkers, Vol. 1: Cheikh Anta Diop

As a warrior activist in Africana studies and research in 1986 along with Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III, he founded the Atlanta Chapter of (ASCAC) the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations. Through his organizing expertise the Atlanta chapter hosted the 1986 Southern Regional ASCAC Conference, the 1988 ASCAC Education for Liberation Mini-conference in Miami, Florida. As a co-editor with Nia Damali and Asa G. Hilliard III he published The Teachings of Ptahhotep: The Oldest Book in the World, To Be African with Kwado Burnett Gallman and Marimba Ani and The Struggle To Bring True African History into Being with Asa G. Hilliard III an ASCAC Critical Commentary. In 1987, Baba Obadele Williams traveled to Egypt to present the paper, “The Kemetic Origins of the Greco-Roman Gods And Goddesses,” later published by the University of Sankore Press in Reconstructing Kemetic Culture edited by Maulana Karenga. 

With increased interest and efforts to create an African-centered curriculum in elementary and High Schools Baba Obadele served as a curriculum consultant in the Portland and Atlanta Public School’s African-American Curriculum programs. A 10 Volume set of Videos titled, African-American Culture: A Second Look was produced through the collaborative efforts of Obadele Williams, Asa G. Hilliard III and Marti Chitwood. As an outgrowth of national efforts to infuse African-American History into School Curricula, Mr. Williams was selected along with Herman L. Reese, Asa G. Hilliard III and Lucretia Payton-Stewart to coordinate the National Infusion Conferences of 1990-1992. Obadele was the chief force behind the publication of Proceedings of the National Infusion Conference, 1990 published by Aaron Press and republished by Third World Press.

In conjunction with Nancy Harris, Charlyn Harper-Bolton and Asa G. Hilliard III, Obadele co-authored the Portland Public school monograph, From Ancient Africa To African-Americans Today. He served as African-American curriculum consultant for In-Service training for teachers at the Atlanta Public Schools from 1992-1995. During that time he edited the publications, the Atlanta Public Schools African and African-American Curriculum Content Program Guide along with compiling the Supplemental readings/Support For The African-American Curriculum Infusion Project(1990). As a photojournalist and archivist in Africana studies his work has been featured in South Carolina E-TV’s internationally acclaimed program “For The People” hosted by the late Listervelt Middleton.

The award winning documentary of Dr. John Henrik Clarke, “Great And Mighty Walk”  featured video and slides from Baba Obadele’s private archival collection of African history of 40 years. Baba Williams has one of the world’s most extensive collections of articles, books, photos, audio-tapes and videos of Dr. John Henrik Clarke. Obadele as a bibliophile has researched the created bibliographies of leading scholars in African and Africentric studies--Cheikh Anta Diop, Wade W. Nobles, Na’im Akbar, Frances Cress Welsing, Charles S. Finch III, Ivan Van Sertima, Runoko Rashidi, Jacob H. Carruthers, Chancellor Williams, Hubert H. Harrison, J.A. Rogers, etc.

As an African research specialist he was the co-founder of the Bennu Study Group and the coordinator of the ASCAC Study Group of Atlanta. He was appeared on WLIB’s Night Talk with Bob Law, WRFG’s Round Midnight, Spoken Expression and WAOK’s Chris Askew Show. As a result of the airing of the Shaka Zulu series, Baba Obadele led a challenge to TV-36’s airing of the program with a 10 myth rebuttal with community scholars and activists. Obadele has been a member of the Board Of Directors and Southern Regional President of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations. He is the recipient of the ASCAC Presidential Award(1989) and the Positive Image Award(1990). Baba Obadele recently was honored by being selected as an elder in the Jegna Collective of the Metro-Atlanta area.

posted 8 April 2007 

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John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History

Africalogical Quest for Decolonization and Sovereignty

By Ahati N. N. Toure

Under Clarke s formulation liberation was defined not simply as freedom from European domination, but fundamentally as the restoration of Afrikan sovereignty. He explored history’s utility in moving an oppressed and subordinated people from a position of subjugation on multiple levels to full status as a self-sustaining, self-defining, self-directed, free, and independent people on a global stage. Further, the study examines the influence of indigenous Afrikan intellectualism in the United States in Afrikan cultural and intellectual history. Although a leader among European academy-trained Afrikan intellectuals who join the European academy largely beginning in the 1970s, Clarke s education and training were the product of a movement for the indigenization of Afrikan academic intellectualism in Harlem of the 1930s that can be traced back to the early nineteenth century. It is the first extensive critical examination of Clarke as an exemplar of indigenous intellectualism in Afrikan culture in the United States

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A Critical Biography


Julius E. Thompson and James L. Conyers, Jr. Pan-African Nationalism in the Americas


 The Life And Times Of John Henrik Clarke / John Henrik Clarke—A Great and Mighty Walk 


YouTube Lectures

Dr. John Henrik Clarke—Christopher Columbus 1 of 7 / John Henrik Clarke talks about Farrakhan


Dr. John Henrik Clarke on organized religion vs spirituality / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4


*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

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#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

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#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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Panther Baby

A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention

By Jamal Joseph

In the 1960s he exhorted students at Columbia University to burn their college to the ground. Today he’s chair of their School of the Arts film division. Jamal Joseph’s personal odyssey—from the streets of Harlem to Riker’s Island and Leavenworth to the halls of Columbia—is as gripping as it is inspiring. Eddie Joseph was a high school honor student, slated to graduate early and begin college. But this was the late 1960s in Bronx’s black ghetto, and fifteen-year-old Eddie was introduced to the tenets of the Black Panther Party, which was just gaining a national foothold. By sixteen, his devotion to the cause landed him in prison on the infamous Rikers Island—charged with conspiracy as one of the Panther 21 in one of the most emblematic criminal cases of the sixties. When exonerated, Eddie—now called Jamal—became the youngest spokesperson and leader of the Panthers’ New York chapter. He joined the “revolutionary underground,” later landing back in prison. Sentenced to more than twelve years in Leavenworth, he earned three degrees there and found a new calling. He is now chair of Columbia University’s School of the Arts film division—the very school he exhorted students to burn down during one of his most famous speeches as a Panther.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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Related files: Portrait of a Liberation Scholar  The Global Perspective of John Henrik Clarke   Washerwomen Table  PanAfrican Nationalism in the Americas     Pan African Nationalist Thought