Clark, K. B. (1965). Dark ghetto: Dilemmas of social power. New York: Harper & Row.
After the triumph of the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kenneth Clark and many of his colleagues believed that this country would move quickly to ensure social justice for all. It did not happen and this book is his cri de coeur about continuing segregation throughout the country. In the last chapter, he takes white liberals to task for their illusions about inclusiveness. Here is just one quote: "The liberal position, when applied to race, has been, for a multiple of reasons, somewhat tainted. In those areas of life where liberals are powerful-labor unions, schools, and politics-c-one is forced to say that the plight of the Negroes is not significantly better than it is in areas where liberals are not dominant" (p. 230).
There are so many pithy passages I could quote from this book, but here are the last three sentences: "White and Negro must fight together for the rights of human beings to make mistakes and to aspire to human goals. Negroes will not break out of the barriers of the ghetto unless whites transcend the barriers of their own minds, for the ghetto is to the Negro a reflection of the ghetto in which the white lives imprisoned. The poetic irony of American race relations is that the rejected Negro must somehow also find the strength to free the privileged white" (p. 240).
Clark, K. B., Chein, 1., & Cook, S. W. (2004). The effects of segregation and the consequences of desegregation: A (September 1952) social science statement in the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court case. American Psychologist, 59,495-501.
Click here for link to document.
This is brief submitted to the Supreme Court that was so influential in over-turning the "separate but equal" idea in American education. Clark, an African American psychologist who did much research on the effects of racial segregation on African Americans, and his colleagues argued not only that segregation is bad for African American children, but that it also harms White children. This brief is considered so important in the history of psychology that a leading journal of the discipline republished it in 2004.
Clark, K. B. & Clark, M. P. (1952). Racial identification and preference in Negro children. In Seanson, G. E., Newcomb, T. M., & Hartley, E. L. (Eds.), Reading in social psychology (Rev. ed., pp. 551-560). New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Click here for link to document.
In this famous study, African American psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark presented dolls to children and asked them which doll they liked best, which was nicer, which looked bad, etc. They found that the "majority of these Negro children prefer the white doll and reject the colored doll" (p. 557), although the preference declined somewhat from age 4 to age 7. There was also a difference between children in segregated Southern schools and mixed Northern schools; the latter more strongly preferred the white doll.
Guthrie; R. V. (1998). Even the rat was white: A historical view of psychology (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
This well-known book by an African American psychologist traces this history of how psychology has constructed racial differences "scientifically." Of course, this wasn't science at all, but pseudo-science. Guthrie also provides important information about the first generation of African Americans who got Ph.Ds in psychology, the challenges they faced, the people who support their admission to universities, and the research programs they developed.
Klineberg, O. (1935). Race differences. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Otto Klineberg was very influential in the early years of social psychology, arguing that psychologists needed to take a stand on the pressing social issues of the time. He helped to found the Society for the Scientific Study of Social Issues, an effort that not all psychologists supported. In this book, he lays out his argument that "there is no adequate proof of fundamental race differences in mentality, and that those differences which are found are in all probability due to culture and the social environment." He criticizes the "biological approach" and the "psychological approach to race differences" and concludes that "once science has demonstrated that there is nothing in the brain or blood of other races which justifies our ill-treatment of them, it becomes important to see that this knowledge is disseminated." He wrote this book for college students and the general public.