Dr. John Henrik Clarke & Dr. Yosef A.A. ben-Jochannan a.k.a. Dr. Ben
This month, the Afrikana Studies Department from Harlem's City College paid tribute to two of the greatest scholars to ever contribute to the mental liberation of Afrikans throughout the Diaspora.
The influence wielded by master educators is rarely acknowledged by the masses, yet a profound impact is still made nonetheless.
By combining forces – Dr. John Henrik Clarke and Dr. Yosef A.A. ben-Jochannan a.k.a. Dr. Ben – were instrumental in the reawakening process of hundreds of thousands of individuals who were seeking their Afrikan ancestry.
While Dr. Clarke was physically born January 1st 1915 in Georgia, and Dr. Ben almost exactly 2 years later, on December 31st 1917 in Ethiopia, Afrika- although he was raised in the Caribbean, the 2 eventually arrived in Harlem a couple decades later and forever changed the cultural landscape of not just ‘Black Mecca', as Harlem was then known, but also through-out the entire planet.
They could be seen at Harlem's Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, studying, uncovering facts. They continued to refortify each other until Clarke became an ancestor July 16th 1998.
“The greatest contributions that Dr. John Henrik Clarke and Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan made to the Afrikan world… is by reintroducing [people] to their history, they began to restore their memories - and thus trigger their psycho-spiritual healing, and allowing them to become human beings once again,” affirmed colleague Professor James Small.
Even as they educated students at the now dis-banned ‘Harlem Prep' during the day, throughout the 1960s & ‘70s, the 2 Afrikan Scholar Warriors could later be seen standing on the corner of Afrikan Square (7th Ave. & 125th St.) during the evenings and weekends, delivering dissertations which were not restricted by the school's curriculum regulations.
Their unique relationship set an example for, and inspired, many other conscious Afrikans to do the same, as they eventually joined them throughout this intellectual warfare, such as Professors James Small and Edward Scobie, Drs. Leonard and Rosalind Jeffries and Drs. Marimba Ani, Sharshee McIntyre.
“They represent a successful brotherhood, which is needed in order to win the struggle which we are engaged in. So they showed us that we have to work together even though we may have differences,” assessed CCNY's Dr. Leonard Jeffries, a fellow colleague.
Dr. Ben Video Interview
His wife, Dr. Rosalind Jeffries added – “They set an example for us how scholars should work together. While they disagreed with many scholars, they were able to find a brotherhood.”
Together they utilized their accumulated experiences to help the masses mentally free themselves from the indoctrination of the public fool (school) systems as they uncovered many hidden truths about Alkebulan - the Motherland - and its original inhabitants – opening the flood-gate to the Afrikan consciousness which many sought.
“Both, Dr. Ben and Dr. Clarke, were twin towers in the struggle of Afrikan mental liberation and awareness of self. The research of Dr. Ben and Dr. Clarke is renowned around the world. They provided for us a well documented foundation to know our ancient and modern history,” relayed Minister Clemson Brown – C.E.O. of Trans-Atlantic Productions, which have archived many of the legendary historians' lectures.
The works which the 2 scholars uncovered, through countless hours of tireless and thankless research, has positively produced and influenced many other stalwart street scholars they came across while in the concrete jungles of Harlem, mainly - Malcolm X; Allah, The Father; the Original Black Panthers - helping to open up their eyes to Afrika's glorious past.
“We talk about Dr. Ben and Dr. Clarke because they were the spearheads who were influenced by individuals who predated them, like Chancellor Williams and John G. Jackson - who also were mentors to Dr. Clarke and Dr. Ben,” contends Trust Graham, grassroots communiversity educator.
“They were examples for us that we could emulate, because we knew that they were serious, strong, vibrant, righteous and truthful… and those are the kind of characteristics that you not only want in yourself, but also in those individuals around you.”
After progressing on to educate others at institutes of higher learning like Cornell University [Ben] and Hunter College [Clarke], they penned books which also documented the history of great civilizations which once existed in Afrika: Black Man Of The Nile and His Family, Chronology of the Bible, Afrikan People In World History, Master Teacher: A Biography, just to name a few.
“Dr. Clarke probably was the quintessential historian for Afrikan history in this century. Without Dr. Ben there probably wouldn't be the awareness of our ancient Kemetic/Egyptian history and presence, and the knowledge that that was an Afrikan culture - formulated and carried out by Afrikan people… and as Dr. Clarke would say - ‘and foreigners brought nothing to it but to destroy it,'” remarked Minister Brown.
Dr. Ben Speaking On Black Egyptians Creating Civilization
True education is meant to inform, liberate and lead people in the correct direction, and as more individuals learned the concealed truths about the ‘dark continent', they became more intrigued about it. As this information was uncovered, it reinstalled the high levels of self-esteem which had been stripped away during the enslavement process of original people.
“Back in the days people didn't want much to do with Egypt because of the stories in the Bible,” reflected Dr. Rosalind Jeffries.
“Dr. Ben told us that he was not allowed to join the tour groups [in Egypt] because he was Black. He was fighting for us so we could have [true] information about ourselves. He used to stand on the side, then began gathering information about the artifacts, monuments and what he felt intuitively from the objects.”
Trust added: “Dr. Clarke was a staunch revolutionary who used information as a weapon, and Dr. Ben is one who provided so much tirelessly, to get what we needed, consciously.”
Their works are responsible for generations, throughout the last 5-6 decades, returning home to their roots and being reintroduced to their rich indigenous heritage. “They gave us a pathway which led to our mental liberation,” stated Dr. Leonard Jeffries.
“They banned together to arm their people with the knowledge-of-self, so that we could go on and be well respected on the world stage again,” concluded fellow street scholar, Brother Sekou.
“They became giants… no matter what anybody says, it was Dr. Ben and Dr. Clarke who pointed the way to Afrika, and the history of Afrika. What mattered to them was getting the information to Afrikan people so we can be proud and productive again, standing on our history.”
Read Here For MoreInfo On Dr. John Henrik Clarke
The Life Of Dr. Clarke (Narrated By Wesley Snipes)