Kenneth and Mamie Clark. Kenneth Clark. Born in 1914 Born in Panama Canal Zone Moved to Harlem at the age of 5 Graduated from Howard with a BA in 1935 First African American to receive a PhD in psychology from Columbia University (1940)
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Kenneth Clark • Born in 1914 • Born in Panama Canal Zone • Moved to Harlem at the age of 5 • Graduated from Howard with a BA in 1935 • First African American to receive a PhD in psychology from Columbia University (1940) • Taught Psychology at Howard and later at Hampton Institute • First African American to receive tenure at City College of New York (taught from 1942 to 1975)
Kenneth Clark cont. • First African American on the New York State Board of Regents (1966 to 1986) • First African American president of APA • Retired from City College in 1975 • Died from cancer in 2005
Mamie Clark • Born October 18, 1917 • Grew up in Hot Springs, AR • Father owned a private medical practice and managed a hotel for African Americans • Family was part of the small elite of the African American middle class • Attended Howard University • Married Kenneth in 1937 • Graduated Howard Magna Cum Laude (1938) • Thesis was “The Development of Consciousness of Self in Negro Pre-School Children” • Looked at the self-perception of African American children • Began working at an African American nursery school • Published three articles with Kenneth
Mamie Clark cont. • Began Columbia in 1940 • Her advisor at Columbia believed that African Americans and European Americans possessed different mental capabilities • Finished PhD in 1943 • 2nd African American to receive a PhD in psychology from Columbia • Despite having a PhD, still had difficulty finding a job • Worked in a law firm that challenged segregation laws, met prominent Civil Rights attorneys • Realized the need for psycholgical services for minorities • Kenneth and Mamie decided to create their own agency • Northside Center for Development was opened (1946) • Many African American students were being placed in programs for mental retardation • The center provided testing for these students • The community was advised of these practices • Began remedial math and reading programs • Executive Director of the center until her retirement (1979) • Died in 1983
Research • Kenneth and Mamie published three major articles between 1939 and 1940. • The articles furthered the work of Mamie’s thesis. • Developed a proposal for further research on self-identification in Black children • Created updated versions of the coloring and doll tests. • Proposal awarded Rosenwald Fellowship (1939) • renewed two times within the next two years • Enabled her to attend Columbia University
Research Cont. • Mamie's research involved a coloring test and a doll test. • Coloring Test: • Three year old Afro-American children given sheet of paper with drawings of an apple, a leaf, an orange, a mouse, and a boy and a girl • Also given a box twenty-four crayons including brown, black, yellow, white, pink, and tan • Children were then asked to pretend that the little girl or boy was them, and color the picture the same color as themselves • Then the children were asked to color the opposite gendered picture the color they want it to be • All African American children with very light skin colored the picture correctly • Most darker skinned African American children colored the picture with yellow or white crayons • Some children even used red or green • The study concluded that the children's inappropriate colors represented emotional anxiety related to the color of the own skin • In other words, they wanted to be white, and so they pretended to be (Clark, 1944).
Research Cont. • Doll test: • African American children shown a white doll and black doll, and asked which doll they preferred to play with • Over half chose the white doll • Children demonstrated that they could identify the difference between the two dolls • Mamie’s work with children's race-recognition and self-esteem demonstrated that Black children gain awareness of their racial identity at approximately age three • Concurrently, African American children began to see themselves negatively, reflecting the views of society • Mamie presented her results in a school desegregation trial in Virginia • Kenneth presented the results in Delaware and South Carolina desegregation trials • Results were published in 1953
Brown vs. Board of Education • Plessy v. Ferguson enforced “separate but equal” (1892) • In Topeka, Kansas, an African American third-grader, Linda Brown had to travel a mile through a railroad yard to get to her school, though there was a white school close to her house • Her father, Oliver Brown, attempted to enroll her in the white elementary school • The principle would not allow her to enroll • Her father went to the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to seek help • The NAACP requested an injunction forbidding the segregation in public schools
Kenneth and Mamie’s research findings were presented in court, providing evidence that segregated schools were unequal
Decision read by Chief Justice Earl Warren on May 17, 1954: • "We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does...We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Court Ruling • Brown vs. Board of Education overturned the ruling of “separate but equal” from Plessy vs. Ferguson • Kenneth Clark was named one of the “modern authorities” influencing the decision • First time a social science study was emitted into the court as hard evidence
Kenneth and Mamie’s Research • Clark, K. B., & Clark, M. K. (1939). The development of consciousness of self and the emergence of racial identification in negro preschool children. Journal of Social Psychology, 10, 591-599. • Clark, K. B., & Clark, M. K. (1939). Segregation as a factor in the racial identification of negro pre-school children: A preliminary report. Journal of Experimental Education, 8, 161-163. • Clark, K. B. & Clark, M. K. (1940). Skin color as a factor in racial identification of negro preschool children. The Journal of Social Psychology, 11, 159-169. • Clark, K. B. & Clark, M. K. (1950). Emotional factors in racial identification and preference in negro children. Journal of Negro Education, 19, 341-350.
References • Guthrie, R.V. (1998) Even the rat was white: A historical view of psychology, Allyn & Bacon. • http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american_history/2196/Mamie_Clark_a_supporter_of_the_Black_child • http://c250.columbia.edu/c250_celebrates/remarkable_columbians/kenneth_mamie_clark.html • http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4627755 • http://www.psychologymatters.org/clark.html • http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/early-civilrights/brown.html • http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/mamieclark.html