Kenneth Bancroft Clark
Kenneth Clark was born July 24, 1914 in the Panama Canal Zone but soon migrated to New York with his mother in 1919. He grew up as a migrant child with his seamstress, union-organizer mother in a tenement in Harlem, New York. His childhood black heroes, the poet Countee Cullen and the bibliophile and curator Arthur Schomburg, illumined the way to a sparkling academic career(May,2005. ) He studied at Howard University and Columbia University earning a PhD in psychology. He was the first black president of the American Psychological Association. He was also the first African-American to become an official professor at the City College of New York. He married Mamie Phipps, another psychologist, in 1937. Together they studied the effect of prejudice on children by conducting the “doll test” which gave white and black dolls to children of different ethnic and economic backgrounds to see which one they would prefer. The study showed that the black children preferred the black dolls and the white, Hispanic, and other children preferred the “good” white dolls. These results were published in a newspaper article entitled “Effects of Prejudice and Discrimination on Personal Development.” Kenneth’s doll tests were also cited later in the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education which ended racial segregation in American public schools. He went on to interview Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin which established these leaders on a national level. He also published a book about problems of inner city “ghettos” called Dark Ghetto.
Another one of the accomplishments Kenneth Clark achieved include being elected and serving on the State Board of Regents, which oversees public education in the state. He also established a center for Child Development that offered psychological services to poor black children in Harlem. Later on in his life, Kenneth expressed that he was never encouraged by the...
References: Retrieved from “Obituaries” of The Independent on May 06, 2005
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