Mamie Phipps Clark
On April 18th, 1917
Dr. Harold H. Phillips and Katie Florence gave birth to Mamie Phipps in
Harold H. Phipps had a medical practice and owned a hotel and spa for
Americans placing the family at middle class status. She attended a
elementary and secondary school in Arkansas.
It was in 1934 that Mamie Phipps graduated from Langston High
Due to Phipps’ssuccessful academic record she received multiple
After much research and consideration she decided to attend Howard University.
Phipps entered Howard as a math major with a minor in physics.
While pursing her
degree at Howard University Mamie Phipps met her husband Kenneth Clark.
Clark was pursuing a master degree in psychology and sparked interest
to pursue psychology. He introduced her to different professors at Howard University.
As a result Mamie Phipps took a few an introductory courses and felt
home in the psychology department. Despite her comfort level in the
she was discouraged because there were no African American women
members. In 1937, Kenneth began attending Columbia University
to purse his Ph.D. Neither Mamie or Kenneth Clark could handle the
they decided to elope. The marriage was kept a secret from Mamie
Clark’s parents who disapproved of her
graduation. Mamie Clark graduated magna cum laude in 1938, from Howard.
Clark began working at all-black nursery and had a strong interest in
development of children. Mamie Clark performed a color test with dolls,
researched African American children’s preference of a white or black
Mamie and Kenneth Clark completed research on self-identification in
children and updated the coloring dolls test. In 1938, Maime Clark
the law office of William Huston. In 1940, Mamie Clark attended Columbia to
studies. While in graduate school she gave birth to two daughters.
was the second African American student to graduate from their Ph.D
Mamie and Kenneth Clark
both showed that black children become aware of their racial identity
the age of three. The Supreme Court acknowledged the Clarks
research on segregation and used it as foundation to desegregate
schools. The Clarks work has had a
significant impact of the success
of African American students.