Clark, Mamie Phipps
- Jaime McLean
Mamie Phipps Clark’s life and career demonstrate that academic pursuits and a commitment to social justice can be tied together in a meaningful way. She is best known for her psychological research on self-esteem and self-concept in African American children, which was used in 1954 in the groundbreaking civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas.
Clark was born to Kate Florence Phipps and Dr. Harold Phipps in Hot Springs Arkansas As a member of one of the few black middle class families in the town Clark experienced a somewhat privileged upbringing In addition to owning his own private practice Harold Phipps also managed one of only a few hotels and spas catering to black people in this tourist mecca Despite her family s position Mamie Clark suffered the inconveniences and humiliation of segregation common in many areas of the South at the time Still ...
A version of this article originally appeared in Black Women in America, 2nd ed.