About Dr.John Henrik Clarke:
Dr. John Henrik Clarke (born John Henry Clark, January 1, 1915 – July 12, 1998), was a Pan-Africanist writer, historian, professor, and a pioneer in the creation of Africana studies and professional institutions in academia starting in the late 1960s.
He was born John Henry Clark on January 1, 1915, in Union Springs, Alabama, the youngest child of sharecroppers John (Doctor) and Willie Ella (Mays) Clark (who died in 1922).With the hopes of earning enough money to buy land rather than sharecrop, his family moved to the nearest mill town, Columbus, Georgia.
Counter to his mother’s wishes for him to become a farmer, Clarke left Georgia in 1933 by freight train and went to Harlem, New York as part of the Great Migration of rural blacks out of the South to northern cities. There he pursued scholarship and activism. He renamed himself as John Henrik (after rebel Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen) and added an “e” to his surname, spelling it as “Clarke.