Mark Clark (Black Panther)
(June 28, 1947 – December 4, 1969) was a member of the Black Panther Party
. He was killed with Fred Hampton
in an infamous Chicago
police raid on December 4
Mark Clark was born on June 28
, in Peoria, Illinois
, to Elder William Clark and Fannie Bardley Clark. He became active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP) at an early age and joined in demonstrating against discrimination in employment, housing and education. According to John Gwynn, former President of state and local chapters of the NAACP, Mark Clark and his brothers played a major part in keeping other teenagers in line. "He could call for order when older persons or adults could not," he said of Mark in a December 1969 interview with the Chicago Tribune
. Family members say Mark Clark enjoyed reading and art and was good at drawing portraits. He attended Manual High School and Illinois Central Junior College
The Black Panther Party
After reading their literature and the Ten Point Program
, Clark joined the Black Panther Party
and later decided to organize a local Peoria, Illinois chapter. He went from church to church in an effort to find a building to house a free breakfast program. He was turned away time after time, but he never gave up. Eventually, Pastor Blaine Ramsey agreed to allow a free breakfast program. Church members later voted against continuing the breakfast program because of the negative FBI propaganda
associated with the Black Panther Party.
The December 4th Raid
Some family members and friends say Mark Clark knew he would be assassinated
. In the pre-dawn hours of December 4
, Chicago Police
stormed into the apartment of BPP State Chairman Fred Hampton
at 2337 W. Monroe Street, killing both Mark Clark and Fred Hampton, and causing serious bodily harm to Verlina Brewer, Ronald Satchel, Blair Anderson and Brenda Harris.
Fred Hampton and Deborah Johnson, who was eight and one-half months pregnant with their child, were sleeping in the south bedroom. Ronald "Doc" Satchel, Blair Anderson and Verlina Brewer were asleep in the north bedroom. Brenda Harris was sleeping on a bed by the south wall of the living room, and Harold Bell slept on a mattress on the floor in the middle of the room. Louis Truelock was also lying on the bed with Harris. Mark Clark was asleep in a chair in the living room. The raiders first shot Mark Clark in the heart. Clark's gun went off as he fell, according to Brenda Harris, who watched from the bed in the corner. A federal grand jury determined that the police fired between 82 and 99 shots while most of the occupants lay sleeping. Only one shot was proven to have come from a Panther gun.