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John Henrik Clarke
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    (January 1, 1915-July 16, 1998)
    Wrote short stories 'On The Other Side,' 'Santa Claus is a White Man' and 'The Boy Who Painted Christ Black'
    Subject of documentary 'John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk (1996)' produced and narrated by Wesley Snipes
    Died of a massive heart attack at age 83
    He often played the race card.
    Malcolm X called him a 'swine eater' because of his love of pork products.
    As a young boy, he was a golf caddy for future military leaders Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley.
    Literary critics considered him too preachy.
    He adopted Henrik as his middle name, in honor of Henrik Ibsen.
    As a boy, his white teacher told him: 'Your people don't really have a history.'
    This motivated him to prove the teacher wrong.
    He was extremely knowledgeable in world history and events, not just black history.
    He wrote over two hundred short stories.
    His writing was realistic and forceful.
    He taught himself how to read and write.
    In 1956, he became the first black teacher licensed to teach black studies in New York State.
    He proved that blacks played an important role in world history.

Credit: Xer

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