Kenneth Bancroft Clark (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
American psychologist who studied the psychological effects of racial segregation.
Many psychologists have made history within their profession; few, however, have had an impact on the laws of a nation. Such was the case with Kenneth Bancroft Clark, whose work the Supreme Court cited in its historic Brown v. Board of Education ruling. In the 1954 case, which overturned racial segregation in public schools, the Court referred to a 1950 paper by Clark, and described him as a "modern authority" on the psychological effects of segregation. His recognition by the highest court in the land made Clark an instant celebrity, and on the heels of this success, he set out to develop a prototype community action program for young people in Harlem in 1962. However, political workings brought an early end to his vision. Disillusioned by this experience, Clark penned the most well-known of his many books, Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas of Social Power (1965), which would become an important text for sociologists studying inner-city life in America.
A world of opportunities in Harlem
Clark was born on July 24, 1914, in the Panama Canal Zone. His father, Arthur Bancroft Clark, had come from the West Indies and worked as a cargo superintendent for the United Fruit Company, a major employer in...
(The entire section is 2358 words.)
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Clark, Kenneth Bancroft (Psychologists and Their Theories)
AMERICAN EDUCATOR, SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIST, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST
HOWARD UNIVERSITY, B.A. 1935, M.S. 1936; COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, Ph.D. 1940
Kenneth Bancroft Clark (1914), an eminent American social psychologist, educator, and human rights activist, is well known for his expert testimony in the consolidated school desegregation cases known as Brown v. Board of Education. The landmark case, argued by the NAACP legal team before the Supreme Court in 1954, declared school segregation a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The social science testimony of Kenneth Clark was a significant factor in the Court's decision, and secured his place in the historical record among social psychologists whose research has influenced significant social change in the twentieth century.
Kenneth Clark was born in the Panama Canal Zone on July 24, 1914, and lived there until he was five years of age. His Jamaican-born mother, Miriam Hanson Clark, moved to Harlem with Kenneth and his two-year-old sister, Beulah, in 1919. Kenneth's father, Arthur Bancroft Clark, a native of the West Indies, would not relinquish his employment with the United Fruit Company in Panama to accompany his family to New York. Miriam Clark supported her two children working as a seamstress in New York's garment district....
(The entire section is 17790 words.)