Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kenneth Clark Oral History Available Online

Dr. Kenneth B. Clark is in the spotlight this week on the Columbia Center for Oral History website:
Dr. Clark’s groundbreaking studies on race and child development helped end segregation in the United States. In the 1940s, Dr. Clark conducted experiments using dolls to assess children’s attitudes about race. He asked children to choose between a black doll and a white doll. In most instances the majority of children preferred to play with the white doll. The children in the study also gave the color white attributes such as “good” and “pretty” and qualified black as “bad” and “ugly.”
The "doll studies" factored importantly into the Brown v. Board decision.

Dr. Clark also established Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited (HARYOU), a community organization that served as a model for the War on Poverty's community action initiatives.

Follow the link to access audio and transcripts from a 1976 interview with Dr. Clark.