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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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Session:         Page of 763

a similar position here in the States, because of his color. He therefore thought that any non-white person who voluntarily came to the United States was asking for humiliation, you know. And he never set foot in the United States.


Was he born in the Zone, then?


No, he was born in Jamaica. My mother was born in Jamaica, and my father was born in Jamaica, but they met in the Canal Zone.

He was always very bitter about the United States, and very bitter about the fact that my mother brought us here.


Doctor, what were your mother's motivations, as you recall them?


There were many. Personal. I mean, apparently the marriage was not going well, and -- for a number of reasons, obviously; my father was not particularly inclined to literal fidelity, in terms of the marriage, you know. And this disturbed my mother.

And, by the way, in looking back and reading and talking to people, this was by no means uncommon. I mean, the machismo, I suppose, required that the males, virile males, have more than one woman. My mother somehow, on the other hand, was sort of literalistic about these matters. She could understand other people, you know, other men having outside women, but she certainly didn't want that from her husband. She could even understand my father's father's reputation for having outside children, even, and taking care of them. But she felt that this was not for her. And of course, she was reinforced by my grandmother, who was a very severe, rigid, rigid puritanistic person. As I got to know her later, with a sense of humor -- but also damn severe, in her judgment of people's behavior.

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