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George White

psychiatrist, educational reformer, and author. Born to working-class parents during the Great Depression, James Pierpont Comer became a world-renowned child psychiatrist. He spent his childhood in East Chicago, Indiana, but then traveled to the East Coast and did work at some of America's most prestigious academic institutions. By the early twenty-first century he stood as an intellectual pioneer and an advocate for disadvantaged children.

Comer's parents lacked extensive formal education, and both worked outside the home—his father as a laborer at a steel mill and his mother as a domestic. Yet they created an environment that cultivated self-esteem, confidence, and high academic achievement for James and his siblings. After completing high school in 1952, Comer attended and graduated from Indiana University, but his negative experiences in Bloomington encouraged him to attend medical school elsewhere. He earned his MD in 1960 from Howard University and a ...

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Carolyn Vellenga Berman

was born on 20 July 1925 in Fort-de-France, capital of Martinique, then a French colony in the Antilles. He was the fifth of eight children in a middle-class family. His father, Félix Casimir Fanon, who worked in French customs, was the descendant of an affranchi, an individual emancipated before the definitive abolition of French colonial slavery in 1848. His mother, Eléanore Médélice, a shop owner, was proud of her mixed ancestry, including Austrians who had immigrated to Alsace, France. Although Fanon’s parents spoke Martinican Creole, his education was only in French. He read widely at the local library and attended the Lycée Schoelcher, an elite school in Fort-de-France. One of his French teachers was Aimé Césaire, the author of Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, 1939 a seminal poem for the proponents of Negritude and a searching exploration of ...

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Candace Cardwell

psychiatrist. Alvin F. Poussaint was born in Harlem, New York, and attended Stuyvesant High School. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Columbia College in 1956 and an MD from Cornell University Medical School in 1960. Poussaint then studied at the University of California at Los Angeles's Neuropsychiatric Institute in 1964–1965.

From 1965 to 1967, Poussaint worked for the Medical Committee for Human Rights in Jackson, Mississippi, where he provided medical care to civil rights workers. Poussaint taught at Tufts Medical School from 1965 to 1969 and then at Harvard Medical School. In 1971 he joined Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) and served as one of Jackson's advisers in the 1984 presidential campaign.

Poussaint was a consultant for The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992 and A Different World from 1986 to 1993 He read scripts to ensure that the television ...

Article

Aaron Myers

Alvin Poussaint was born in East Harlem, New York City, and attended Stuyvesant High School. He received his B.A. from Columbia College in 1956 and an M.D. from Cornell University Medical School in 1960. From 1964 to 1965, he received postgraduate training at the University of California's Neuropsychiatric Institute.

From 1965 to 1967, Poussaint was employed by the Medical Committee for Human Rights in Jackson, Mississippi, where he provided medical care to workers in the Civil Rights Movement and helped desegregate Southern health facilities. He taught at Tufts Medical School from 1965 to 1969 and then at Harvard Medical School. In 1971 he joined the Reverend Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) and served as one of Jackson's advisers in the 1984 presidential campaign. Poussaint was a consultant for The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992 and A Different World from 1986 ...