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Marleny Guzman

psychology professor and journalist, was born in Columbia, South Carolina, to Frances G. Green Baumgardner and her husband James L. Baumgardner (sometimes spelled Bumgardner). Both his parents were teachers at Allen University in Columbia; James taught math and theology. In one source Frances Baumgardner's maiden name is listed as Ramsay. Little is known about Herbert's childhood, but he was the second child, with an older brother, Luther Ovid, and two younger sisters, Thelma and Victoria. The 1910 census suggests that all four children were living with their parents at 2330 Plain Street (later Hampton Street) in Columbia. The home, which the Baumgardners owned outright without a mortgage appears to have been in a “neighborhood of predominately middle and upper income residences” (Trinkley and Hacker, pp. 45–46). As of 1910 two lodgers were also living in the home which would have provided additional income for the family Luther O ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Jason Philip Miller

educator and psychologist, was born in San Marcos, Texas, one of eleven children to Samuel Andrew Beverly, a waiter, and Veola Hamilton, a homemaker. Her exact birth year is not known, though 1895 has been reported with greatest frequency. The family was poor, but education was valued, and many of the Beverly children went on to earn high school and college degrees. Money, though, was hard to come by, and the family was itinerant through much of Prosser's childhood. She eventually attended Yoakum Colored School in tiny Yoakum, Texas, graduating in 1910 as valedictorian. There was little money for college, but Prosser was allowed to continue her education when an older brother chose marriage over a college degree. She matriculated to Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College (later Prairie View A&M University) and in 1912 graduated from the normal school with a two year degree ...

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Mary Krane Derr

psychologist and educator, was born in Alexandria, Virginia, to George and Esther Ragland Roberts. In 1928 he graduated from Howard High School, Wilmington, Delaware, then the sole free high school for African Americans in the state. He pursued higher education at white-run institutions at a time when there were almost no African Americans in his chosen field, psychology. Bertha Garrett Holliday (2009) describes the “distinct and harsh barriers” that blacks faced in the profession during that era, including “restricted training opportunities, extremely limited occupational opportunities, and widely held assumptions among European American psychologists of the intellectual and social ‘deficits’ of African Americans, which promoted a disciplinary consensus of the impossibility, difficulty, or lack of necessity of identifying ‘qualified’ African American graduate students and professionals.”

Roberts nevertheless completed both his B.A. (1932) and M.A. (1933 with honors at Brown University in Providence Rhode ...

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Roger K. Thomas

psychologist, was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the son of David Alexander and Ellen Lillian, African Americans who had previously adopted the surname Sumner in honor of Massachusetts's antislavery senator Charles Sumner. Francis received his elementary education in Norfolk, Virginia, and Plainfield, New Jersey. His father was not satisfied with the secondary education in segregated schools, so he taught Sumner himself. Sumner passed a written examination to gain admission to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1911. In 1915 he graduated magna cum laude with honors in English, Greek, Latin, modern foreign languages, and philosophy. Sumner said that his sole ambition was to be a writer, but he also said that he knew he would have to fall back on teaching or something else as a means of livelihood.While at Lincoln University Sumner corresponded with members of the psychology faculty at Clark University in Worcester Massachusetts ...

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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 ...

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Stephen Truhon

clinician and psychologist, was born to James L. and Mabel Banner in Chicago, Illinois. Her family moved to Columbus, Ohio, when she was young, and she attended East High School in Columbus. Even then she was interested in civil rights. She and other students walked into the prom at her high school, defying a ban on blacks. She also protested a local theater's refusal to sell tickets to blacks. After her graduation in 1925 she attended Ohio State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in home economics in 1929.

Turner then took a position as head of the home economics department at Wilberforce University. At the same time she pursued her graduate education at Ohio State University, earning a master's degree in education in 1931 and a doctoral degree in psychology in 1935 She thus became the second African American woman to earn a Ph D in ...

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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 ...