Dr. Mamie Clarke was a pioneer in Black Psychology. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Howard University. Influenced by her work with children in an all-black nursery school, Mamie decided to conduct her master’s thesis, “The Development of Consciousness of Self in Negro Pre-School Children”. This thesis later became the iconic “doll study” that provided research to support the desegregation in U.S. Schools. Dr. Clarke and her husband Dr. Kenneth Clarke were the first African-Americans to obtain their doctoral degrees in psychology from Columbia University.
Dr. Mamie Clark and her husband were influential to the Civil Rights movement and their expertise allowed them to testify as expert witnesses in several school desegregation cases, including Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954 (Martin, 1994). Outside of their research and applied contributions they both served in the community and on committees to make a difference. – American Psychological Association.
For me a chocolate girl from Brockton, MA Dr. Clark blazed a trail for me that led me to later travel to Washington, DC to get my masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Howard University in 2008. As a female licensed mental health therapist of color I had to kick off Black History Month with Black Psychology pioneer Dr. Mamie Clark.
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