John Henrik Clarke quotes

  • To control a people you must first control what they think about themselves and how they regard their history and culture. And when your conqueror makes you ashamed of your culture and your history, he needs no prison walls and no chains to hold you.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Wall #Thinking #People

  • It's time for Black people to stop playing the separating game of geography, of where the slave ship put us down. We must concentrate on where the slave ship picked us up.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Games #People #Black

  • To be black and beautiful means nothing in this world unless we are black and powerful.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Beautiful #Powerful #Mean

  • Powerful people cannot afford to educate the people that they oppress, because once you are truly educated, you will not ask for power. You will take it.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Education #Powerful #People

  • Every form of true education trains the student in self-reliance
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Self #Students #Form

  • Africans in the United States must remember that the slave ships brought no West Indians, no Caribbeans, no Jamaicans or Trinidadians or Barbadians to this hemisphere. The slave ships brought only African people and most of us took the semblance of nationality from the places where slave ships dropped us off.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #People #Hemisphere #Ships

  • My main point here is that if you are the child of God and God is a part of you, the in your imagination God suppose to look like you. And when you accept a picture of the deity assigned to you by another people, you become the spiritual prisoners of that other people.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Spiritual #Children #Imagination

  • Religion is the organization of spirituality into something that became the hand maiden of conquerors. Nearly all religions were brought to people and imposed on people by conquerors, and used as the framework to control their minds.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Organization #Hands #People

  • Nothing the European mind ever devised was meant to do anything but to facilitate the European's control over the world.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Mind #World

  • Egypt gave birth to what later would become known as 'Western Civilization,' long before the greatness of Greece and Rome.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Greatness #Civilization #Egypt

  • The role of religions in the domination and destruction of African civilizations was ruthless... Islam was as guilty as all the rest.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Civilization #Islam #Roles

  • I saw no African people in the printed and illustrated Sunday school lessons. I began to suspect at this early age that someone had distorted the image of my people. My long search for the true history of African people the world over began.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #School #Sunday #Long

  • To hold a people in oppression you have to convince them first that they are supposed to be oppressed.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #People #Firsts #Oppression

  • History is not everything, but it is a starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. It tells them where they are but, more importantly, what they must be.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #People #History #Political

  • I only debate my equals. All others I teach.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Debate #Teach

  • If you expect the present day school system to give history to you, you are dreaming. This, we have to do ourselves. The Chinese didn't go out in the world and beg people to teach Chinese studies or let them teach Chinese studies. The Japanese didn't do that either. People don't beg other people to restore their history; they do it themselves.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Dream #School #People

  • What I have learned is that a whole lot of people with degrees don't know a damn thing, and a lot of people with no degrees are brilliant.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #People #Degrees #Brilliant

  • The people and the cultures of what is known as Africa are older than the word 'Africa.' According to most records, old and new, Africans are the oldest people on the face of the earth. The people now called Africans not only influenced the Greeks and the Romans, they influenced the early world before there was a place called Europe.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Europe #People #Greek

  • Most human behavior is controlled by images. Image is a factor in how people look at themselves and what they use to reflect themselves. The control of images is a major factor in world power.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #People #Looks #Use

  • Anytime someone says your God is ugly and you release your God and join their God, there is no hope for your freedom until you once more believe in your own concept of the 'deity.'
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Believe #Ugly #Deities

  • A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience's attention, then he can teach his lesson.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Education #Teacher #Teaching

  • Whoever is in control of the hell in your life, is your devil.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Devil #Life Is #Hell

  • A people's relationship to their heritage is the same as the relationship of a child to its mother.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Mother #Children #People

  • White people think when you love yourself you hate them. No, when I love myself they become irrelevant to me.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Hate #Love You #Thinking

  • In order to have a charismatic leader, you have to have a charismatic program. Because if you have a charismatic program, then if you can read you can lead. When the leader gets killed while you're reading from page 13 of your charismatic program, you can bury the man with honors, then continue the plan by reading from page 14. Let's keep on.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Reading #Men #Order

  • Slavery ended and left its false images of black people intact
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #People #Black #Slavery

  • Africa is our center of gravity, our cultural and spiritual mother and father, our beating heart, no matter where we live on the face of this earth.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Mother #Spiritual #Father

  • Each generation must assume the responsibility of securing their manhood, their womanhood, the definition of their being on earth that in the final analysis is nationhood.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Responsibility #Finals #Analysis

  • Everything that touches YOUR life, must be an instrument of YOUR liberation or tossed into the trash cans of HISTORY
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Experience #Trash #Instruments

  • We will have taken one giant step forward when we face this reality: Powerful people never teach powerless people how to take their power away from them.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Powerful #Taken #Reality

  • Anytime you turn on your own concept of God, you are no longer a free man. No one needs to put chains on your body, because the chains are on your mind.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Men #Mind #Needs

  • It is too often forgotten that when the Europeans gained enough maritime skills and gunpowder to conquer most of the world, they not only colonized the bulk of the world's people but they colonized the interpretation of history itself. Human history was rewritten to favor them at the expense of other people. The roots of modern racism can be traced to this conquest and colonization.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Skills #Roots #Justice

  • If we are going to be masters of our destiny, we must be masters of the ideas that influence that destiny.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Destiny #Ideas #Influence

  • In the closing years of the nineteenth century, African-American historians began to look at their people's history from their vantage point and their point of view.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Views #Years #People

  • The acceptance of the facts of African-American history and the African-American historian as a legitimate part of the academic community did not come easily. Slavery ended and left its false images of black people intact.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Acceptance #People #Community

  • We have been educated into believing someone else's concept of the deity, and someone else's standard of beauty. You have the right to practice any religion and politics in a way that best suits your freedom, your dignity, and your understanding. And once you do that, you don't apologize.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Believe #Practice #Understanding

  • I have walked majestically with kings and queens and presidents and other heads of states.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Kings #Queens #President

  • I want to make it clear that the black race did not come to the United States culturally empty-handed. The role and importance of ethnic history is in how well it teaches a people to use their own talents, take pride in their own history and love their own memories.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Memories #Pride #Race

  • My loving sister Mary has always shared the pain and pleasure of my heartbeat in a unique and special way. We have sung our sad and warm songs together.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Song #Pain #Unique

  • I am a nationalist, and a Pan-Africanist, first and foremost. I was well grounded in history before ever taking a history course. I did not spend much formal time in school - I had to work.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #School #Firsts #Formal

  • I understood that my family was rich in love but would probably never own the land my father, John, dreamed of owning. My mother, Willie Ella Mays Clarke, was a washerwoman for poor white folks in the area of Columbus, Georgia where the writer Carson McCullers once lived.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Mother #Father #White

  • It is unfortunate that so much of the history of Africa has been written by conquerors, foreigners, missionaries and adventurers. The Egyptians left the best record of their history written by local writers.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Missionary #Records #Foreigners

  • My daddy wanted me to be a farmer; feel the smoothness of Alabama clay and become one of the first blacks in my town to own land. But, I was worried about my history being caked with that southern clay, and I subscribed to a different kind of teaching and learning in my bones and in my spirit.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Teaching #Land #Daddy

  • When Marcus Garvey died in 1940, the role of the British Empire was already being challenged by India and the rising expectations of her African colonies. Marcus Garvey's avocation of African redemption and the restoration of the African state's sovereign political entity in world affairs was still a dream without fulfillment.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Dream #Expectations #Political

  • There are some long silences in Scandinavian and some Japanese films, when the audience knows action is taking place, but the audience hears no action.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Long #Silence #Action

  • She was not a white woman. She was not a Greek... Until the emergence of the doctrine of white superiority, Cleopatra was generally pictured as a distinctly African woman, dark in color.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Dark #White #Color

  • When the early Europeans first met Africans, at the crossroads of history, it was a respectful meeting and the Africans were not slaves. Their nations were old before Europe was born.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Europe #Firsts #Slave

  • When I was able to go to school in my early years, my third grade teacher, Ms. Harris, convinced me that one day I would be a writer. I heard her, but I knew that I had to leave Georgia, and unlike my friend Ray Charles, I did not go around with 'Georgia on My Mind.'
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Teacher #School #Years

  • As the eldest son of an Alabama sharecropper family, I was constantly troubled by a collage of North American southern behaviors and notions in reference to the inhumanity of people. There were questions that I did not know how to ask but could, in my young, unsophisticated way, articulate a series of answers.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Son #People #Southern

  • In the United States, the Supreme Court's decision of 1954, outlawing segregation in school systems, was greeted with mixed feelings of hope and skepticism by African-Americans.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #School #Decision #Feelings

  • All the working-class people could feel a Malcolm X. They could hear Malcolm X, and two weeks later they could whisper back what he said. Verbatim. They could remember the way he put it, and he put it so well.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Two #Class #People

  • I question the political judgement of those who would have the nerve to paint Christ white with his obvious African nose, lips and wooly hair.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #White #Hair #Political

  • There was a time when all dark-skinned people were called Ethiopians, for the Greeks referred to Africa as, 'The Land Of The Burnt-Face People.'
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Dark #Land #People

  • The first light of human consciousness and the world's first civilizations were in Africa.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Light #Civilization #World

  • Africa and its people are the most written about and the least understood of all of the world's people. This condition started in the 15th and the 16th centuries with the beginning of the slave trade system. The Europeans not only colonialized most of the world, they began to colonialize information about the world and its people.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #People #World #Information

  • Malcolm X found the language that communicated across the board, from college professor to floor sweeper, all at the same time, without demeaning the intellect of either.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #College #Boards #Language

  • After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, the United States would enter, in a formal way, what had been up to that date strictly a European conflict. Marcus Garvey's prophecy about the European scramble to maintain dominance over the whole world was now a reality.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Reality #Pearls #Way

  • Europeans not only colonized most of the world, they colonized information about the world.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #World #Information

  • If I lead the field in any way, it is in the area of curricula development, study guides and other teaching materials.
    -- John Henrik Clarke

    #Teaching #Fields #Development