Black History

Topics: Black people, African American, African diaspora Pages: 8 (3062 words) Published: December 17, 2010
"The events which transpired five thousand years ago; Five years ago or five minutes ago, have determined what will happen five minutes from now; five years from now or five thousand years from now. All history is a current event" (John Henrik Clarke). These were the words of the awe inspiring pan African American writer, professor, and historian John Henrik Clarke. Being that of a well self-educated intellectual, John Henrik Clarke argued for the power of black history as well as of its importance. During Clarke’s time, January 1, 1915 to July 16, 1998, he became a very respected historian for his push for the importance of Africana Studies. The African American community saw him as an influential powerhouse as he portrayed and pioneered the formation of Africana studies in the United States. Many argued that African and African American history was not worthy of being studied but Clarke had his morals set otherwise. His role as an activist drove him to challenge academic historians to alter the way African and African American history was taught and seen throughout the U.S. Though some would dismiss his views and denounce the importance of the black community, he fought back illuminating the biases Eurocentric views has upon our society in the U.S. Clarke was a role model to many afroncentric views because of his leadership in redressing racist suppressions among African and African American history that was taught by traditional scholars. John Henrik Clarke’s accomplishments were great motivations for the advancement of black empowerment with the United States nation. In the film describing the life of Ida B. Wells, “A Passion for Justice”, Wells was also a teacher in the empowerment of the African culture. Her commonalities with that of John Henrik Clarke’s were one in the same. Both scholars sought for the equality of African American’s through history in a Eurocentric based nation. Wells had power in the press, and was formally known as the “Princess of the Press”. She had the power to change the ideals and views that African’s and white people had to a more afrocentric based thought. Her journal entries and news articles inspired many African American’s to leave the south and start boycotting for their rights as citizens. Both John Henrik Clarke and Ida B. Wells had one major thing in common, the power of the pen. Both leaders in the Black Power Movement, these two writers knew they could enrich the black culture by validating to them their history, and the way they are treated in society. Wells and Clarke wanted to show their fellow African American’s that they should not be afraid of the nation they live in, and that they should be treated with respect and equality. At one point during her tenure, Wells was forcefully asked to get off a train that she was on. She fought the racism by taking a stand and declining the man’s command. The case was taken to court and although the court was in favor of the white man, Wells exhibited true courage to fight against racist demands. Wells deeds formed her into a role model and praised icon; African American’s started to see how unfairly they are treated and began listening to Wells words of encouragement for the power of the Black culture in the U.S. Likewise, Clarke’s action to form black power through teaching history was also an inspiration to fight for their rights. Another film, “The Spirit of Allensworth”, was a focus on Lietenant Colonel Allen Allensworth. Allensworth was a very influential African American man who initially was a man born into slavery. His drive to become something rather then a slave pushed him to escape and educate himself illegally. He was then able to join the army and prove that African Americans are worthy of this nation and showed the black culture that their race can furthermore aid to the success of the United States. Just like Clarke’s push for black empowerment, Allensworth wanted to uplift the African...

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