February not only celebrates the month of love, but it also allows us to honor Black History month. Black History month gives American’s the opportunity to learn more about their cultural background and commemorate the outstanding achievements of African-American figures.
This month I would like to honor a breakthrough athlete, and a fellow Dallas Cowboy, by the name of Frank Clarke.
Clarke was born Feb. 7, 1934 in Beloit, Wisc. A natural athlete who excelled at the game of football, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where he ended his career with 532 yards receiving. Clarke was loved and respected on his college campus; however, he was often susceptible to racism once the team traveled outside the city of Boulder. At the time, racism was still very prevalent – yet Clarke still managed to get through the hardships with his love for the game.
Clarke was later drafted into the NFL in 1956 by the Browns. After playing for Cleveland for three years with little exposure, the Cowboys selected him during the 1960 Expansion Draft. Clarke accomplished a lot in Dallas. From 1961 to 1964 he led the Cowboys as a wide receiver in yards and touchdowns. He also held a franchise record for the most touchdowns in a season by a wide receiver (14), which was not broken until 2007 by Terrell Owens. Clarke was the first African-American football star on the Cowboys, as well as the first black sports anchor in Dallas.
Individuals like Frank Clarke make Americans proud. Life was not easy for African-Americans during this time period. Yet despite his challenges, he tore down boundaries and refused to give up. Because of brave men like Clarke, people like me now have the opportunity to follow their dreams.