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Clark Decision: Celebrating 150 Years of Iowa School Desegregation: Alexander Clark, Sr.

Alexander Clark, Sr., photo





Alexander G. Clark, Sr. stood up for civil rights in this seminal case and beyond. 

Robin, Augustus, Portrait of Alexander Clark: Engraving, New York: Date unknown.
Source: State Historical Society of Iowa

Alexander Clark's Successful Challenge

Question from a 12-year-old: Who was the first black child to go to an integrated school?

The short answer, of course, is Susan Clark. Read Drake Professor Emeritus Russ Lovell's full response to Makena by clicking the question above.

Alexander Clark Day

Muscatine designated Feb. 20-26, 2011 Alexander G. Clark Week. On Jan. 18, 2018, Muscatine designated February 25 as its annual Alexander Clark Day.

Russell Lovell, emeritus Professor of Law at Drake University, was the featured speaker for the 2020 Alexander Clark Day lecture.

Alexander G. Clark, Sr.


Alexander G. Clark, Sr., successfully sued the Muscatine schools to allow his daughter Susan to attend the all-white school next door to the family home. Before that, Clark had already worked for years as an outspoken advocate for black suffrage and the elimination of discriminatory laws.

Clark's son Alexander, Jr. became the first African-American graduate from the University of Iowa School of Law (in 1879), and Clark himself was graduated from the school in 1884, eighth in a class of eighty. 

In 1890 President Benjamin Harrison appointed Clark U.S. consul general to Liberia. 

Learn more about this ground-breaking Iowan:

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