Grace Maynard Clark

Grace Maynard Clark was born in Rio Abajo (in the Canal Zone) in 1946. She was raised by her grandmother, and grew up with and aunt and uncle who were close to her in age. Clark’s grandmother, who was from Costa Rica, was a progressive woman; she instilled in Grace the value of education, even though at the time women were expected to do little more than get married and have children. As a result, Grace was very intelligent, and advanced quickly in school. At the University of Panama, she studied math and physics, and ultimately became a teacher in both subjects. Now married with two grown children, Clark has retired from teaching, but she now owns a pineapple farm, and has dreams of dabbling in politics and journalism. “I will be heard” insists Clark, who is outraged by the living conditions of many blacks living in Panama. Clark is very proud of her Black Costa Rican and Jamaican heritages, and says: “I am black. Proud to be black. Love to be black. Would not want to be anything else.”