THE DIGITAL REPOSITORY FOR THE BLACK EXPERIENCE
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State representative Robert G. Clark was born on October 3, 1929 in Ebenezer, Mississippi to Robert G. Clark, Sr. and Julia Ann Clark. Clark attended Holmes County Training School in Durant, Mississippi. Clark received his B.A. degree from Jackson State College in Jackson, Mississippi in 1952, and his M.S. degree in administration and educational services from Michigan State University in East, Lansing, Michigan in 1959.
Clark served as a teacher in the Holmes County public school system and area private schools for fifteen years. In 1966, Clark was elected to a position in the Holmes County Community Action Program. The following year, he was elected to the State of Mississippi House of Representatives as the first African American representative in the twentieth century. While serving in the Mississippi House of Representatives, Clark became the first black committee chairman in 1977 and served as chair of the House Education Committee, the House Management Committee, the House Ethics Committee and has held a seat on the House Rules Committee. He has also served as vice chairman for the Apportionment and Elections Committee. In 1979, in addition to serving in the Mississippi House of Representatives, he served as a teaching fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Clark worked on 1982 Education Reform Act for education reform in Mississippi. In 1992, he was elected as Mississippi House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tem, and reelected in 1996 and 2000. Clark was also a senior ranking member of Mississippi’s Legislative Black Caucus. In 2003, Clark retired from the Mississippi House of Representatives and began lecturing at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi.
Clark has been honored by the State of Mississippi for his years of service. In 2003, June 27, was dedicated as Robert G. Clark, Jr. day by an official State of Mississippi proclamation. Clark also has a state government building in Jackson, Mississippi named in his honor.
Robert and his wife, JoAnn Ross Clark, have three children, Robert G. Clark, III, Bryant Clark and LaLeche.
Robert G. Clark was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 26, 2017.