Inez Beverly Prosser: The First African American Woman to Earn a Ph.D. in Psychology

Often regarded as the first black female psychologist, Inez Beverly Prosser earned her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati in 1933.  Her dissertation, The Non-Academic Development of Negro Children in Mixed and Segregated Schools, was an important work in that it explored differences between African American students at integrated schools and segregated schools.  Her research looked at questions related to their occupational interests, participation in school activities, racial attitudes, and other important topics. She was one of the first psychologists to argue that racism had a damaging effect on the psychology of African American children.  This research was used in the debates surrounding Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954.  Prosser was killed in a car accident shortly after earning her degree.

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