“John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist”
By James McIntosh
Armed with only, at best, 2 Black Studies courses I began to light into the racist things that hadbeen said at the conference. The place caught on fire. Some of the other Black folks scattered inthe audience and who had also been sitting in silence up to that point, now jumped in supportingmy statements. Soon some of the white faculty began to direct their fire at me. But I found thatwith the smattering of Black History information I had, I could easily refute their statements andarguments. Professor Clarke had already taken the time to show me and all the Black studentsthe power of African History at one of our invasions of the College Faculty Council. It was therethat we witnessed Professor Clark decimate the college's top scholars -- telling the mathinstructors what they did not know about the origin of math, the Romance language instructorswhat they did not know about Russian, Spanish and French history and literature as he hit themwith the Moorish invasion, Pushkin and several generations of the Dumas family. So there I wasat this conference with my two courses trying to do the same thing and actually doing it. It waslike I had a machine gun rat tat tat tat tat I was mowing them down.Soon one of the big guns at the conference fired. He shouted at me, in a thick Germanic accent,"You are arrogant, you are arrogant," but I just mowed him down. I said "you call me arrogantwhen a few minutes ago I heard you use the phrase Red China. You are the epitome of arrogance; calling the Peoples Republic of China --red China and calling the little island TaiwanChina. That's is like calling mainland United States-- Red America and calling Manhattan IslandThe United States. I looked at Professor Clarke and he was smiling. The Black folks in theaudience were smiling. When the real big guns came out, Professor Clarke took over, coolytaking a straight razor out of his jacket pocket-- not a real straight razor. This is a metaphor y'all.He took out his razor and slit every opposing throat in the place. The conference was blownapart. When it was over everyone was excited all the Black people gathered around us andProfessor Clarke was beaming, like a Bear who had just taught his cub to hunt.Now as professor Clarke would say, I will get to the subject of my lecture. My topic is "John
Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist.” But Professo
r Clarke is not a psychiatrist you might say andI once might have agreed with you. For it is only recently that I realized what a psychiatrist hewas for me personally and what a role he played in my ever becoming a psychiatrist. It wasProfessor Clarke who taught me about Imhotep and who first introduced me to the work of Fanon, Senghor and to the literature which would lead me to the works of Wright, Akbar,Kambon, Karenga, Asante, Ani, Wilson, Welsing, Nobles etc.