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

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

- John Henrik Clarke

I have walked majestically with kings and queens and presidents and other heads of states.

- John Henrik Clarke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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