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The professor and social psychologist Kenneth Bancroft Clark devised a simple test that proved to be a powerful weapon in the NAACP Brown vs. Board of Edcuation Case

By Dr. Lawana R. Lofton, PsyD  –

Psychologist and Professor,  Dr. Kenneth Clark, of the City College of New York, along with spouse Mamie Clark also a Psychologist,  in 1940’s created and performed innovative Psychological Tests using Doll Experiments to test how children felt about race.  Dr. Clark’s  research identified how harm was inflicted,  and their findings would later be used to aid the plaintiff children in the Brown vs. Board of Education Case.

In the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Case, the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation of children in public schools was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Dr. Kenneth Clark’s testimony based on his Psychological Testing findings contributed to the courts proceedings and final ruling.     Psychologist Kenneth Bancroft Clark  Brown vs. Board of Edcuation Case

As background,  it was Thurgood Marshall who served as the NAACP Legal Counsel who helped take on the case of Linda Brown, an African American youth denied admittance into an all Caucasian 5th Grade Public School in Topeka, Kansas.  John Davis argued on behalf of the defendant school officials.

Ultimately,  Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the Brown vs. Board opinion, “To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely to ever be undone.” [Wikipedia]

According to a Associated Press report, in the recent 2014 Baltimore, MD., Morgan State University commencement speech, Attorney General Eric Holder commented on the different forms of racism and stated,  “subtle, institutionalized racism has a more “pernicious” effect than the occasional bigoted outburst.”


In the field of Psychology, there are many Psychologists who have spent  their life’s work devoted to Cross Cultural Studies and Research  to further our understanding how it impacts Childhood Development.   Because of this, researchers now have a thorough understanding of Models of Racial / Cultural Identity formation.   Most notable is the work of Sue & Sue.   And broadly, we also benefit from how this field of research has applications for effective Cross Cultural Mental Health Counseling Treatment.

Sue & Sue devised a Stage Theory to explain the Development of Cultural Identity:

[Atkinson, Morton, & Sue]

1.  Conformity

2.  Dissonance

3.  Resistance & Immersion

4.  Introspection

5.  Integrative Awareness


::::   Until Next Time:   à donf   :::