TheTest: A Personal Short Theory for Rectification
By: Queen Unique
First and foremost, as a mother and a culturally proud and aware; I strongly recommend that all parents screen their daughters and sons by means of the Doll experiment. In recent findings, this has been a tremendous eye-opener for many of us and although we want to believe in our minds that our children are genuinely proud of whom they are – who we are; the proof is in the pudding…
Mamie Phipps Clark was the first African American woman to receive a PhD in psychology from Columbia University in 1943, only ten years subsequent to Inez Beverly Prosser receiving a PhD in from the . Her husband, Kenneth Clark was the first African American to receive a PhD in psychology from Columbia University as well as the first black tenured professor at the City College of New York, the first black president of the American Psychological Association and the first black on the . So as you can see, breaking boundaries and opening doors was nothing new to this power couple. After many failed attempts at convincing the in New York City to provide social work, remediation and psychological services into their programs; the Clarks decided to embark on their own venture thus creating the Northside Center for in the basement of a housing project on 135th Street which to date is in the Schomburg Plaza. The late were not only husband and wife but also an esteemed duo of African American psychologists and the founders of the Northside Center for Child Development and the organization. The Clarks were most known for their experiments using dolls to study our youth’s opinions and attitudes about race which led them into the opportunity to testify as expert witnesses in the most monumental and compelling U.S. Supreme Court public education trials in African American history, Brown v Board of Education.
The doll experiments stemmed from Mamie’s master’s degree thesis which provided evidence of internalized racism cause by stigmatization.
I recently conducted the Doll Test on my own children and (luckily) they both chose the black dolls. You see amidst the struggling times which sometimes conflict with the nurturing attributes of a mother and force us to overindulge in sheltering our children and to some extent pulling the wool over their eyes; we think that we are protecting them forcing ourselves to believe that ignorance to the pain will suffice. Wrong. I have never once failed to intertwine culture, ethnic pride and consciousness into my children’s upbringing. Our children are victims of the destructive nature of lack of history therefore, they do not comprehend the vitality and essence of our African American history. And as we all know; you won’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you have been.
(c) 2008 by K.L. Shanks
Please stay tuned for the full version of this essay in addition to many more in my upcoming essay collection set to go to press in mid-2009. Please join my email list to stay updated by sending your name & email address