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Charles Rosenberg

psychologist and expert in consumer behavior and marketing, was born in White Stone, Virginia. It is very likely, but not completely documented, that he was the son of James A. Bayton, a steamboat fireman, and his wife, Clara Bayton. Before 1920 he was sent to live in Philadelphia with his uncles George Bayton, a physician, and Wentworth Bayton, a hotel waiter, while his widowed mother worked as a live-in cook for a family in the District of Columbia (1910, 1920, 1930 censuses). There is no further record of his older sisters, Lucile and Rita. Many sources have assumed that the physician George Bayton, certainly the most important adult male in his childhood years, was James Bayton's father.

Graduating in 1931 from Temple University High School in Philadelphia Bayton enrolled at Howard University in Washington DC where he initially majored in chemistry with an eye ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

one of the first African American psychologists, who established at Howard University the first psychology laboratory at any historically black institute of higher education, was born in Camden, South Carolina, to Calvin and Elizabeth James Beckham. Evidence for his date of birth varies. While 21 September 1897 is commonly published, a World War I draft registration records his year of birth as 1893, a second World War I draft registration provides the date 21 August 1897 (it appears he registered again after moving to a new address), and his World War II draft registration card records 21 September 1894. The 1910 census lists his age as sixteen, supporting the 1893 date.

His father owned a retail grocery business in Camden, and his early education was in Presbyterian schools. By 1910 he was the middle of five children; Carrie and Willis were older, Ernest and Arline ...

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Tiffany K. Wayne

psychologist, social worker, and educator, was born in Washington, D.C., the eighth and youngest child of Reverend and Mrs. William James Howard. Ruth Howard loved reading as a child and originally considered becoming a librarian but, after three years at Howard University, she transferred to Simmons College in Boston and changed her major to social work.

In the early decades of the twentieth century social work was a new professional field for women and especially for black women Most African American women in the early decades of the twentieth century were confined to jobs as domestic workers or if they entered the professional class as teachers But at Simmons Howard was introduced to new role models and new career possibilities Through a summer internship with the National Urban League she became inspired by the need for community programs for disadvantaged youth including education recreation and job ...

Article

SaFiya D. Hoskins

social psychologist, was born Herman George Canady in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, son of Howard T. and Ana Canady. His father was a minister. Herman Canady was a student at Douglass Elementary School and Favor High School in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Upon graduating from high school he enrolled at Northwestern University Theological School in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago. While a student at Northwestern, Canady was awarded a Charles F. Grey Scholarship for his outstanding performance. Canady developed an interest in the behavioral sciences in Theological School and in 1927 graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. The following year he earned a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern.

In September 1928 Canady became a member of the faculty at West Virginia Collegiate Institute later called West Virginia State College and chair of the psychology ...

Article

Lara Putnam

was born in Panama on 14 July 1914 to parents of British Caribbean ancestry. Their families, like so many others, had been drawn to the isthmus by the economic dynamism surrounding the construction of the Panama Canal (1904–1914). Clark’s mother, Miriam Hanson, was born in Jamaica and reached Panama around 1904 at the age of 6; her mother sold baked goods there, while her father labored on the Canal. Clark’s father, Arthur Bancroft Clark, was born in Costa Rica to Jamaican immigrant parents and moved to Panama as an adult. They married when Miriam was only 16. Kenneth’s birth in 1914 was followed by that of his sister Beulah in 1917.

The difference between the racial formation Clark experienced in Panama and that he would later encounter in Harlem was prominent in his recollections of early childhood In British West Indian Panama blackness was the norm so ...

Article

Lawrie Balfour

Born in the Panama Canal Zone, Kenneth Bancroft Clark grew up with his mother in Harlem, New York. His childhood heroes included poet Countee Cullen, who taught at his junior high school, and book collector Arthur Schomburg, who served as curator at the 135th Street branch of the New York Public Library. After attending integrated elementary and junior high schools, Clark graduated from New York's George Washington High School in 1931.

Clark distinguished himself as an undergraduate at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he led demonstrations against segregation. While at Howard he met Mamie Phipps, who became his wife and closest intellectual collaborator. The Clarks then went to Columbia University in New York City to study psychology, and in 1940 Kenneth Clark became Columbia s first black recipient of a Ph D degree in psychology Clark joined the faculty of City College ...

Article

Steven J. Niven

psychologist, was born in the Panama Canal Zone, the son of the Jamaican immigrants Miriam Hanson Clark and Arthur Bancroft Clark. In 1919, Miriam left her husband and brought Kenneth and his sister Beulah to New York City. He attended public schools in Harlem, which were fully integrated when he entered the first grade, but were almost wholly black by the time he finished sixth grade. Kenneth's mother, an active follower of Marcus Garvey, encouraged her son's interest in black history and his academic leanings, and confronted his guidance teacher for recommending that Kenneth attend a vocational high school. A determined woman, active in the garment workers’ union, Miriam Clark persuaded the authorities to send Kenneth to George Washington High, a school with a reputation for academic excellence. In 1931 he won a scholarship to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Clark attended Howard at time of ...

Article

Donna M. Abruzzese

psychologist, activist, and children's advocate, was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the elder of two children born to Kate Florence Phipps and Dr. Harold Phipps. Dr. Phipps, who was a native of the West Indies, provided a privileged environment for his family in a time of entrenched racism. He owned his own medical practice and also managed a hotel and spa for elite black patrons in the resort town of Hot Springs.

Although Clark remembered a happy childhood, her father's status did not entirely shield her from the racist world around her. At the age of six, Clark experienced her first lynching. A black man was dragged through the streets of Hot Springs, taken out of town, and hanged. Clark did not witness the actual hanging, but the intense emotion of the experience remained with her for the rest of her life.

As a whole however Clark never felt ...

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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 ...

Article

William Allison Davis was born October 14, 1902, in Washington, D.C., to John Abraham Davis, a government employee, and Gabrielle Dorothy Beale Davis, a homemaker. As a child, Davis was exposed to an array of intellectual and cultural interests, including the works of Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, and other writers. Davis attended M-Street High School (later renamed Dunbar High School), which was known for its talented faculty and rigorous curriculum.

Davis received his B.A. degree in 1924 from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He was named class valedictorian, graduated summa cum laude, and earned membership in the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. After graduation he applied for a teaching assistantship at Williams, but he was denied the position. Undaunted, Davis applied for admittance to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard accepted him, and in 1925 he received his M.A. degree in English.

Davis then ...

Article

Jayne R. Beilke

social anthropologist, psychologist, and educator, was born William Allison Davis in Washington, D.C., the son of John Abraham Davis, a federal employee, and Gabrielle Dorothy Beale, a homemaker. His younger brother John Aubrey Davis became a civil rights activist and educator. He also had a sister, Dorothy. Davis enrolled at Williams College in Massachusetts, where segregationist policies prevented him from living on campus. He earned a BA in English and was the valedictorian of the class of 1924. From 1925 to 1932 he taught English literature at Hampton Institute, an historically black school in Virginia. One of his students at Hampton was the sociologist St. Clair Drake Jr., who later collaborated with Davis and Gunnar Mydal on The Negro Church and Associations in the Lower South: Research Memorandum [and] The Negro Church and Associations in Chicago (1940).

Davis earned an MA ...

Article

Scott Yanow

jazz bassist, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His parents’ names and occupations are not recorded. An only child, Davis began studying the piano when he was five but soon dropped it because his family did not own a piano. When he was in sixth grade, he wanted to play trumpet or trombone but began on the tuba since it was the only instrument available.

In 1951, when he decided to seriously start his music career, Davis switched to string bass. Very technically skilled from the start, Davis was one of the first musicians who had no difficulty switching between jazz and classical music. He studied with the principal bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra (Anselme Fortier) and attended Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music from 1953 to 1956. In addition, he led his own quartet and played on radio, on television, at clubs, and at colleges.

After ...

Article

Stephen Truhon

psychologist and educator, was born Unionville, Indiana, to Halston Vashon Eagleson. His mother's name is unknown. At some point before Eagleson's first birthday, his family moved to Bloomington, Indiana. By the age of fourteen both his parents had died. He went to work helping his brother and sister by doing shoe repair and shoe shining, work he continued to do even after he earned his doctorate.

As many members of his family did and would, he attended Indiana University. He received his B.A. in psychology there in 1931, his M.A. in 1932, and his Ph.D. in 1935. But it was not until February 1936 that he received a faculty position at North Carolina College for Negroes now North Carolina Central University at Durham Because of planned reductions in salary he left for Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia later that year where he stayed for the ...

Article

Françoise Vergès

writer, psychiatrist, and activist, was born on 20 July 1925 at Fort de France Martinique at the time a French colony The descendant of a slave of African origins Fanon was the fifth of eight children His parents who were of mixed heritage belonged to the urban middle class His father Félix Casimir Fanon worked in the French customs Eléanore Médélice his mother was a shopkeeper She was very proud of her Alsatian roots on an island where the hierarchy of color was very strong Both parents discouraged their children from speaking Creole and encouraged them to integrate into French culture Fanon studied at the elitist Lycée Schoelcher where he had Aimé Césaire as one of his teachers At eighteen Fanon joined the Free French army and was sent for army training to Algeria Fanon became disillusioned with the cause of freeing Europe from Nazism and wrote to his ...

Article

Richard Watts

Born in Fort-de-France on the island of Martinique into a conventional, bourgeois family, Frantz Fanon grew up with assimilationist values that encouraged him to reject his African heritage. This influence was countered by one of Fanon’s high school teachers, Aimé Césaire, who introduced Fanon to the philosophy of Négritude and taught him to embrace the aspects of self that the colonizer had previously forced him to reject. The encounter with Césaire proved to be a turning point in Fanon’s intellectual development. In 1940 following France s capitulation to the Germans in World War II the part of the French Navy that had declared its allegiance to the collaborationist Vichy regime began the occupation of Martinique As a result 5 000 French soldiers commandeered the resources of the island leaving the resident population to fend for itself It was in this context that Fanon first experienced the full force ...

Article

Omar H. Ali

developmental psychologist, educator, and national independent political leader, was born Lenora Branch in Chester, Pennsylvania. A youth leader in the black Baptist Church, Fulani grew up in a working-class black community; her mother, Pearl, was a nurse, and her father, Charles Lee, was a baggage carrier on the Pennsylvania Railroad. As a child, Fulani briefly participated in the public school desegregation process following Brown v. Board of Education (1954). While still in her early teens she decided to become a psychologist to help her immediate community; during the 1970s, reflecting her pride in being of African descent, she changed her surname to Fulani, the name of various West African nomadic groupings of people.

Fulani won a scholarship to Hofstra University on Long Island, New York, where she majored in psychology. Divorced when her two children, Ainka and Amani were still very young she ...

Article

Benjamin A. Jackson

Presbyterian minister, clinical and counseling psychologist, and educator, was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina, to Edmund Taylor Gordon, a physician, and Mabel Ellison Gordon, a schoolteacher. At the time of his birth and during Gordon's early life there, Goldsboro, a small city in eastern North Carolina, was typical of southern locales, with a pattern of racial segregation and racial prejudice. Despite the segregation that he experienced, Gordon grew up in privileged circumstances. His parents, both educated professionals, were firmly ensconced members of the black upper middle class.

After completing high school in Goldsboro, Gordon attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. During his early college years Howard University suspended Gordon for a semester for not making proper academic progress. When he returned, he was lucky enough to find a mentor in the person of Professor Alain Locke the noted black philosopher and scholar who was ...

Article

Stephen Truhon

educator and psychologist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Lerlene C. and Paul L. Guthrie. Shortly after his birth his family moved to Richmond, Kentucky, where his father had become a principal. They moved again in 1938 when his father became principal of Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky.

Guthrie played the clarinet and earned a band scholarship to Florida A&M College in 1948. There he took several psychology courses and considered becoming a psychologist. He doubted whether he could make a career in psychology but his professor, Joseph Awkward, encouraged him in this pursuit. The Korean War interrupted his studies and he enlisted in the United States Air Force. While in the service he met and married Elodia Sanchez. After his discharge he returned to Florida A&M (now University) and completed his degree in psychology in 1955.

The Brown vs the Board of ...

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Verity J. Harding

scholar, activist, psychologist, and coordinator of the first Black Studies program in an American university, was born in Slick, Oklahoma, one of five children of Seddie Henry Hare, a sharecropper, and Tishia Lee Davis Hare, a civilian janitor in the Navy. As a child he moved between California and Oklahoma, before settling on the family farm in Slick once his mother could afford to purchase it with her savings. His father left the family home when Hare was nine. The young Hare showed promise in two careers, boxing and academia, but was encouraged by teachers at L'Ouverture High School to attend college. Though he continued to box, Hare graduated from Langston University in Oklahoma in 1954 with an AB in Sociology. It was at Langston that he met Julia Reed, whom he would marry in 1956 Hare continued to show promise in both fields reaching ...

Article

Hari Vishwanadha

psychologist, was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, daughter of Samuel D. and Anita J. Hooker, one of five children. Samuel Hooker owned a prominent clothing store in the prosperous Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is one of the survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, in which hundreds of African Americans were killed. During two days of rioting the vibrant, self-sufficient African American community of Greenwood in Tulsa was significantly damaged. An estimated ten thousand African American citizens were left homeless. After a judge dismissed her father's lawsuit against the insurance company that had refused to compensate him for the loss of his business, her father declared bankruptcy, and the family moved to Columbus, Ohio. In 1997 one hundred four survivors of the race riot including Hooker initiated a class action lawsuit for redress but the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case Hooker helped found the ...