This Black History Month, we recognize the struggles and achievements of Black and African Americans who have made a significant impact in the mental health and human services field. This week, we pay tribute to Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark.
Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark were influential psychologists and mental health advocates during the Civil Rights movement. Through their work, they were key expert witnesses in the infamous 1954 Supreme Court Case, Brown v. Board of Education that ended racial segregation in public schools, by citing their “Doll Study” that looked into the psychological effects of segregation on African American children. In the study, more than 200 Black children participated and the study found that school segregation was psychologically harmful to black children.
The Clarks continued to break barriers in the mental health community by advocating for adequate mental health services for all. In February 1946, The Clarks founded The Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem. Still to this day, the center provides psychological services to underserved Black children and families.
Throughout Black History Month, we will highlight individuals who reflect MHA’s mission of providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities, housing and rehabilitation to those in recovery, and behavioral outreach services through its BestLife Clinic and residential programming.