Dr. John Henrik Clarke (1915 – 1998) was a Pan-Africanist writer, historian, professor, and a pioneer in the establishment of Africana studies in professional institutions in academia starting in the late 1960s. He was professor of African world history and in 1969, he became the founding chairman of the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He also was the Carter G. Woodson Distinguished Visiting Professor of African History at Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center.
He challenged the mostly white academic historians and attributed their reluctance to acknowledge the historical contributions of black people as part of the systematic and racist suppression and distortion of African history.
Clarke asserted: ”Nothing in Africa had any European influence before 332 B.C. If you have 10,000 years behind you before you even saw a European, then who gave you the idea that he moved from the ice-age, came all the way into Africa and built a great civilization and disappeared,when he had not built a shoe for himself or a house with a window?”