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Clark, Alexander

With a job as a barber, Clark was able to meet influential white and black males of Muscatine, helping his voice be heard. He was also a friend of Fredrick Douglass during the 1840s. Muscatine became the largest African-American populated town in the state after many settled there after escaping the South or traveling eastward from other free states. Clark later established the African Methodists Episcopal Church in Muscatine, the first independent black domination in the United States.

Clark was a fighter for civil rights and in 1855 signed a petition with the state legislature that repealed a law that prohibited free blacks from entering the state. The repeal did not happen, however migration continued anyways. Clark also fought for African-American right to vote and gained the right in 1868. For his children, Clark fought for equal education and sued his daughter's school after she was denied entrance due to her race. Clark won his Supreme Court case and as a result, Iowa became one of the first states to integrate schools. Clark was appointed U.S. Minister to Liberia by President Harrison in 1890, which became one of the highest-ranking appointments of an African-American by a president at that point of time. Clark died while in office of a fever in 1891.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan Title Length Class Themes Grades
Alexander Clark: A Bigger-Than-Life Iowan 90 minutes U.S. History 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade
Alexander Clark: A Visionary Iowan 50 Minutes US History 12th Grade