FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF DR. KENNETH B. CLARK
“Few people have contributed as much as Dr. Kenneth B. Clark to the way our children are educated here in New York City and across the nation. Throughout his long career, Dr. Clark was instrumental in tearing down the barriers of segregation and understanding the debilitating impact of racial oppression. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Dr. Clark cemented his place as a powerful voice for justice in New York City when he lead a Board of Education commission charged with developing a strategy for integrating the City’s schools, reducing class sizes, enhancing the curriculum, and improving the school system’s physical infrastructure. Years later Dr. Clark proved courageous in re-examining the effectiveness of school decentralization and surmising that the outcome had not delivered the intended improvements.
“As a scholar, teacher, and public leader, Dr. Clark committed his life to the idea that education is society’s most powerful equalizer – and he himself was an example of its truth. Raised in Harlem, he attended George Washington High School in Washington Heights. He attended Howard University, where he began a distinguished academic career, becoming the first African American to earn a Doctorate in Psychology from Columbia University and a full professor at the City University of New York. His innovative research produced groundbreaking studies and greatly influenced the Supreme Court in its landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education.
“He leaves an enormously powerful legacy, but his work remains unfinished. Today, as we dedicate ourselves to ensuring that every child receives a quality education, we reaffirm Dr. Clark’s commitment to racial equality, academic excellence, and a more just society. Generations of schools children in this City and all across this country owe Dr. Kenneth B. Clark a debt of gratitude, and we honor his life by continuing his work.”
Edward Skyler / Paul Elliott (212) 788-2958