To control a people you must first control what they think about themselves and how they regard their history and culture. And when your conqueror makes you ashamed of your culture and your history, he needs no prison walls and no chains to hold you.

— John Henrik Clarke

The most eye-opening John Henrik Clarke quotes to discover and learn by heart

Religion is the organization of spirituality into something that became the hand maiden of conquerors. Nearly all religions were brought to people and imposed on people by conquerors, and used as the framework to control their minds.


Powerful people cannot afford to educate the people that they oppress, because once you are truly educated, you will not ask for power. You will take it.


White people think when you love yourself you hate them.

No, when I love myself they become irrelevant to me.


Most human behavior is controlled by images.

Image is a factor in how people look at themselves and what they use to reflect themselves. The control of images is a major factor in world power.


It's time for Black people to stop playing the separating game of geography, of where the slave ship put us down. We must concentrate on where the slave ship picked us up.


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.


If you expect the present day school system to give history to you, you are dreaming. This, we have to do ourselves. The Chinese didn't go out in the world and beg people to teach Chinese studies or let them teach Chinese studies. The Japanese didn't do that either. People don't beg other people to restore their history; they do it themselves.


Africa is our center of gravity, our cultural and spiritual mother and father, our beating heart, no matter where we live on the face of this earth.


I will only debate with my equals. All others I teach.


You have to convince the adults that if a child is to learn his culture, he or she will have to see his mother and father reading about it, and explaining it to him. Then it gets a legitimacy it otherwise would never have. Until then, his learning is limited.


Every form of true education trains the student in self-reliance


Everything that touches YOUR life, must be an instrument of YOUR liberation or tossed into the trash cans of HISTORY


About John Henrik Clarke

Quotes 102 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

Our concept of beauty is taken from Hollywood, which is anti-black.

We don't see ourselves as beautiful in most cases. Although we are naturally one of the most beautiful peoples out there, we don't see it. We don't get the point. Hollywood sets the standards.


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.


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


I don't attend any particular church now.

I don't believe in denominations, nor do I believe in organized religion.


The first light of human consciousness and the world's first civilizations were in Africa.


In the African matrilineal society, the lineage of the bloodline comes down through the female side. The Arabs who invaded East Africa and other parts of Africa reversed it to the patrilineal where everything comes down through the male side and the woman has no basic rights except that which the male is willing to grant her.


You can see in our churches most of the males are pastors.

Most of the deacons are males. But if the woman withdrew her support from our churches, you'd have to close the doors.


Violence among all people is based on dissatisfaction, frustration and crushed ambition and people who don't know who to strike at and who to blame, and not willing to blame themselves.


We have different levels of slavery. We've got educational slavery. All the major religions of the world, even Christianity and Islam, are engaged in some form of servitude of people. I don't look favorably on either one although I think properly practiced all religions are basically good.


In the closing years of the nineteenth century, African-American historians began to look at their people's history from their vantage point and their point of view.


What we might have been dealing with here - with the building of the Pyramids - is an age that got lost. Man had to learn again what they previously had known.


Now, Jews integrate but they don't destroy their institutions.

They don't close the synagogue. They don't stop having special Jewish graveyards. They don't stop having special Jewish holidays. Why can't we understand that we can have things special to us and still comingle and integrate with others.


In a matrilineal society, a woman has basic rights that no one has to grant her but you can't take it away from her because the society is based on the concept that the lifegiver is equal to those she gave the life to. And that will remain... until you find a pregnant man.


After the Moslem Africans lost control over Spain, they began to prey on the Africans further to the south. They destroyed the great independent states in West Africa, and subsequently set Africa up for the Western slave trade and the Arabs were in the slave trade before Islam and they are still in the slave trade.


The Arabs are deep in the slave trade right now.


What has been imposed on religion is not religion itself but the custom of those who have been converted to it. I think that the most atrocious of all of this is Islam. They were in the slave trade before Islam. The Arabs were natural slave traders. They were the people who were called on to conquer us, unfortunately.


History is like a clock, it tells you your time of day.


What example do you have of anything like the Pyramids outside of Africa? You have them in Mexico, but that can be traced to early African migration. So the African created mound culture.


People rise and fall on the basis of the makings of institutions.


If God is love, then God has no stepchildren to love.


The difference between the Pyramids in Egypt and the ones in Mexico is there is nothing inside the Mexican Pyramids. In the African Pyramids, the whole inside is a burial chamber. So they were really gravesites to nobility.


You shouldn't bear humiliations.


I have no faith in much organized religion because I think it's by a bunch of hypocrites and practiced by a bunch of hypocrites. They don't mean what they say because all of them are in the slave trade one way or the other.


The one thing you never integrate at the ruin of your own pleasure is your institutions.


We're all in a test. With or without God, we're in a test.


You should not bear insults.


The African had opinions about the universe that eventually turned out to be true.


If we are going to be masters of our destiny, we must be masters of the ideas that influence that destiny.


Educating a child won't be difficult if you get through to the parent.


I believe in spirituality, which is out there.


Each generation must assume the responsibility of securing their manhood, their womanhood, the definition of their being on earth that in the final analysis is nationhood.


I say if black people don't unite and begin to support themselves, their communities and their families, they might as well begin to go out of business as a people. Nobody's going to have any mercy. And nobody's going to have any compunction about making slaves out of them.


We 've lost something else: the relationship between men and women.


This kind of collective society - giving to each according to his need - existed in Africa not only before Karl Marx, but also before Europe.


It is not uncommon for ignorant and corrupt men to falsely charge others with doing what they imagine that they themselves, in their narrow minds and experience, would have done under the circumstances of a given case, and the surest check, often the only check, on such perjury, is to recognize the impossibility that men of larger instruction and resources and experience could have been guilty of such conduct.


The white woman has never had the co-equal status that the African woman has had.


We never see ourselves as heroes and sometimes when we do it is a hero that has made a fortune as a clown or a boxer. And there is no lasting value in either one of those.