Office of U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro
Clack was born in San Antonio and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Mary’s University in 1985. Clack worked as a Scholar-Intern at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, in Atlanta where Clack wrote CNN commentaries for Coretta Scott King. Clack began writing a column for the San Antonio Express-News in 1994 and later joined the Express-News Editorial Board before becoming a metro columnist. Clack was the first African-American on the editorial board of a San Antonio daily as well as the first metro columnist.
Clack won the Dallas Press Club’s Katie Award for Best General Column and in 2008 he won the Friends of the San Antonio Public Library’s Arts and Letters Award for his writing. For six years in a row, until his departure from the paper, Clack won the San Antonio Current’s Reader’s Choice poll for Best Columnist in the city and was also selected Best Columnist three years in a row in the San Antonio Magazine’s Editors’ and Readers’ Choice Poll. In 2009, Trinity University Press published a collection of his columns, “Clowns and Rats Scare Me.”
Clack’s last column for the San Antonio Express-News ran on October 9, 2011. The next day Clack began work as the communications director for the Congressional campaign of Joaquin Castro.
The man who talked to Martin: Blues plea for nonviolence
If we want more people to embrace nonviolence (not the same as pacifism) as a way of life and tool for social change we have to talk about it and break it down.
For me, nonviolence is as simple as being about how we treat one another without adding hatred, violence or unnecessary suffering. I want to talk about this by remembering a man I used to see at MLK’s crypt during the summer of 1984 when I was a scholar-intern at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. He’d talk to Martin about the problems in the world, the violence and hatred and about his personal problems. It was a plea, a blues lament, a longing for people to be good to each other, about how we still needed King.
I wrote about him in columns but only in the last three years have I thought more deeply about what he was asking.