Resource: Henry Hampton Collection: Interview of Dr. Kenneth Clark

By: Dr. Kenneth Clark, Henry Hampton Collection

November 4, 1985

Henry Hampton Collection: Washington University in St. Louis

This interview was done for Henry Hampton's Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years (1954-1965). Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, an African-American psychologist, conducted sociological studies to combat racism. He was the first African-American to earn a PhD in psychology from Columbia University. Dr. Clark, with the assistance of his wife, Dr. Mamie Phillips, began studying the effects of racial segregation on black children in 1939. His studies showed that black children in segregated situations believed they were inferior to other children. Dr Clark's findings were used by the NAACP in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Chief Justice Warren, cited Dr. Clark's work in his opinion, writing that segregation "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." Dr. Clark authored many books, including: "Dark Ghetto" (1965); "A Relevant War Against Poverty" (1969); "A Possible Reality," (1972); and "Pathos of Power" (1974). Dr. Clark remained active in He civil rights issues till his death in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. in 2005.;cc=eop;rgn=main;view=text;idno=cla0015.0289.020