February is Black History Month and this month we want to celebrate the contributions of Black pioneers in the mental health field.
Herman George Canady, PhD, was born in 1901 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma and is most known for being the first psychologist to study how the race of the test proctor may create bias in IQ testing. He paved the way for black psychologists today by preparing universities and corporations to train and accept black psychologists.
E. Kitch Childs helped to found the Association for Women in Psychology in 1969 and was a founding member of Chicago’s Gay Liberation Front. In 1973 she opened up her own private practice and offered a sliding scale for clients to help the most marginalized people, including those who were living with a new stigmatizing illness, AIDS.
Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller was a pioneering African American psychiatrist who made significant contributions to the study of Alzheimer's disease. He published what is now referred to as the first comprehensive review of Alzheimer’s disease in 1912. Dr. Fuller's groundbreaking research helped establish Alzheimer's disease as a physical disease of the brain rather than the result of insanity or aging.
Beverly Greene, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Psychology at St. John's University. She is a clinical psychologist known for her work on sexism, racism, and analyzing the intersectionality of social identities. Dr. Green has spent many years advocating for those who are marginalized, helping to make the invisible visible. A large portion of Greene's work unpacks the complexities of incorporating race-awareness into the therapeutic process.
Linda James Myers, Ph.D. is known for her critique of traditional western psychological frameworks and her research on African centered psychology. She is currently a professor in Ohio State University’s Department of African American and African Studies. She is known around the world for her theory of optimal psychology, which focuses on the interconnectedness that one has to all living people and things, and the important role that one’s culture and spiritual nature can have in creating healthy mindsets and helping to eradicate inequality.