Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kenneth Clark (psychologist)
Kenneth Clark (born 1914), is an African American psychologist who along with his wife Mamie Clark founded the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem. They are known for their 1940s experiments using dolls to study children's attitudes about race. In 1940, Clark became the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University. His wife was the second. Their work grew out of Mamie's master's degree thesis and yielded 3 papers between 1939 and 1940.
The Clarks testified as expert witnesses in several school desegregation cases including Briggs v. Elliott, one of the cases that were later combined into the famous Brown v. Board of Education, the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court officially overturned racial segregation in public education. According to Woody Klein's Toward Justice and Humanity: The Writings of Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, Scholar of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision, this was the first time the Court ever admitted social science studies as hard evidence.
Kenneth Clark later became the first African American permanent professor at the City College of New York, the first African American on the New York State Board of Regents and the first African American to be president of the American Psychological Association.
- Prejudice and Your Child (1955)
- Dark Ghetto (1965)
- A Possible Reality (1972)
- Pathos of Power (1975)
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