Black Psychologist- the first PhD’s


Inez Beverly Prosser (1891-1934)

She was the first Black woman to receive her Ph.D in Psycholgy. Her dissertation examined the academic development of African American children in mixed and segregated schools. Her findings showed that African American children fared better socially and academically in segregated schools. Specifically she found that African American children from integrated schools experienced more social maladjustment and felt less secure, a barrier to their learning. She spent the last seven years of her life teaching at historical Black colleges.


Francis Cecil Sumner (1895-1954)

First Black man to receive his Ph.D. in Psychology. Helped establish the psychology department at Howard University to train African American Psychologists. Sumner completed vast amount of research which counteracted racism and bias in psychological studies of African Americans. Some of his students went on to becoming leading psychologist in their own right, for example Kenneth Clark.


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