Clarence Nathan was raised in Tampa, attended segregated schools, and only encountered his first White teacher, during his senior year at Middleton High School. When he joined the Tampa Police Department, in February 1971, he was unfamiliar with the all-White work environment. He always remembered wise advice he received from one of TPD’s pioneering Black officers (Sergeant Samuel Jones, Sr.). Sergeant Jones told him, “You have to be twice as good, just to be average as a Black officer.” He took this advice to heart because “failure was not an option,” says Nathan. Although, he did not experience discrimination directly, he watched it happen to other Black officers. Nathan believed “if one suffered, we all suffered.” This prompted him to join the “Fearless Four” lawsuit. Eventually, Nathan was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and retired in March of 1985. Nathan continues to serve law enforcement as a chaplain for the Tampa Police Department.
“Never allow somebody else to define you or dictate who you are going to be.
Clarence Nathan was Fearless in the Face of Adversity