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Charles Rosenberg

teacher and educational psychologist, was born in Washington, New Jersey, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Brodhead. His father, born in New York, was an assistant chef on a railroad cafe car, and his mother, born in Pennsylvania, a laundress at a hotel. He had one older brother, Frank E., and an older sister, Annie. Their father died prior to 1910.

Brodhead graduated from West Chester State Normal School, Pennsylvania, in 1919, and began teaching in the West Chester public schools, boarding with W. J. Williams, his wife, Mary, and infant son, William Jr. During the early 1920s he moved to Philadelphia, beginning a lifelong career in the city's public school system. He married Fleta Marie Jones, a native of Philadelphia, around 1924. Their only child, a daughter named for her mother, was born 12 August 1928.

While teaching ...

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

Stephen Truhon

educator and psychologist, was born in News Ferry, Virginia, to Annie Vassar and Thomas Long. During his childhood, his family moved to Richmond, where he attended and graduated from Wayland Academy, then part of Virginia Union University. He continued his education at Virginia Union University and transferred to Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he received Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education degrees in 1915. He attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, as a University Fellow, where he received an M.A. in Psychology in 1916 under the direction of G. Stanley Hall, considered one of the founders of American psychology. Long was arguably the first black to receive a postgraduate degree in psychology in the United States.

He was accepted in the doctoral program in psychology at Clark University, which included a scholarship, but did not attend. He taught psychology at Howard University from 1916 ...

Article

Susan J. McWilliams

psychologist, activist, and Peace Corps director, was born Carolyn Robertson in Norfolk, Virginia, the second of two daughters of Leroy Solomon Robertson, a ship steward, and Bertha Flanagan Robertson, a seamstress. Robertson grew up during the Depression, but her family was relatively comfortable. They were also close-knit, and all of the adults in her family—her grandfather, a former slave, in particular—emphasized the value of education.

On her parents' wishes, Robertson matriculated at Bennett College, a small, historically black women's college located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Payton adored her time at Bennett, and she particularly appreciated the opportunity it afforded her to know African American women who worked in significant leadership roles there. She was thrilled to see the many female luminaries who came to speak on the Bennett campus; while a student, she got to meet, among others, Eleanor Roosevelt who became and would ...

Article

Stephen Truhon

educator and psychologist, was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Both of his parents (Reverend Patrick Henry Thompson and Mrs. Sara Estelle [Byers] Thompson) taught at Jackson College. After completing his high school education at Wayland Academy in Virginia, he enrolled at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia, in 1914 and earned his bachelor's degree in 1917. He received a second bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in 1918. He was drafted into the army and was stationed at first at Camp Grant in Illinois. He later served in France, rising to the rank of infantry personnel regimental sergeant major.

After his discharge he returned to the University of Chicago, where he earned his master's degree in 1920. From 1920 to 1921 he served as psychology instructor at Virginia Union University. He was director of instruction at the Alabama State Normal School from 1921 ...

Article

Dália Leonardo

psychologist, was born Frederick Payne Watts to Charles Watts, who performed house repairs and worked as a farmer, and Harriett Watts, a homemaker in Staunton, Virginia. Watts was one of five siblings raised in a household where both parents valued and promoted education and learning and encouraged their children to excel academically and professionally. Following his graduation from Dunbar High School in Washington, DC, he attended Howard University in 1922, where he gradually found himself drawn to the field of psychology and away from his original interest in ophthalmology. One of his early mentors was Albert Sidney Beckham, who established the psychology laboratory at Howard. Watts received his B.A. in 1926, having majored in Psychology and French. He remained at Howard University on a teaching fellowship, earning his M.A. in Psychology in 1927 Following a one year stint teaching at Kittrell College in ...