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Francis Cecil Sumner 18951954


1931 at Howard University 'The Mental Health of White and Negro ... by Dean James Porter, Clark University (1917) ... Howard University, cont. Kenneth ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Francis Cecil Sumner 18951954

Francis Cecil Sumner(1895-1954)
  • Torie Tracy
  • Blake Shipley
  • Malissa Smith
  • Aimi Nelson

  • Zeitgeist
  • Historical Antecedents
  • Professional Obstacles
  • Overview of Research Interests
  • Experiments/Data/Outcomes
  • Sumners Influences
  • Summary of Presentation

The Spirit of the Times
  • Born 1895
  • 30 years after the end of the US Civil War
  • 1 year before the 1896 Plessy v Ferguson decision

The Spirit of the Times (continued)
  • Died January 12th, 1954
  • Five months before landmark Brown vs. Board of
    Education decision May 17th, 1954

The Spirit of the Times (continued)
  • From 1876-1920 only 11 blacks out of 10,000
    recipients had earned PhDs
  • (and none in Psychology until 1920)

Time Line
  • 1892 - The APA is founded by 26 (white) men
  • 1920 - Francis Cecil Sumner is the first African
    American awarded the PhD in psychology (from
    Clark University)
  • 1928 Psychology Department is established at
    Howard University, chaired by Francis Cecil

Personal History and Education
  • Family and Early Education
  • Lincoln University (1911-1915)

Personal History and Education
  • Clark College (1915-1916)
  • G. Stanley Hall
  • Accomplishments
  • Relationship to Sumner

Personal History and Education
  • Lincoln University (1916-1917)
  • 1917 received M.A. from Lincoln
  • Clark University (1917-1918)
  • Military Service (1918-1919)
  • Clark University (1919-1920)
  • June 14th, 1920 Received his PhD in Psychology

Personal History and Education
  • West Virginia Collegiate Institute (1921-1928)
  • Offered a position teaching Psychology and
    Philosophy at West Virginia Collegiate Institute
  • Published several articles
  • Began writing controversial articles and opinions
    about race and education
  • Howard University (1928-1954)
  • 1930 - Established the psychology department and
    became its chair

Obstacles Childhood
  • Home-Schooled for secondary
  • Raised under zeitgeist of racial tension

Obstacles Education
  • Rejected from American U. and Illinois
  • Bittersweet relationship with G. Stanley Hall
  • Conflicts at Clark University-
  • WWI-

Obstacles Post-Doctoral
  • Funding for research
  • Ostracized from fellow faculty
  • Unrecognized by the discourse community at large

Research Interest
  • Sumner had at least 45 publications during his
    career. Some were in
  • Pure Psychology
  • Actual Brightness and Distance of Colors when
    Apparent Distance is Held Constant
  • Affective Tone of Tactual Impressions
  • Applied Psychology
  • Measuring the Relevancy of Picture to Copy in
    Advertising and the Influence of Color on the
    Legibility of Copy
  • Psychology of Religion
  • The Mental Hygiene of Religion

Examples of Published Works
  • Core and Context in the Drowsy State(1924)
  • Environic Factors which Prohibit Creative
    Scholarship among Negreos(1925)

  • 1931 at Howard University The Mental Health of
    White and Negro College Students Sumner,F.C.,
    Sumner, F.H.
  • 1950 at Howard University The Persistence of
    Vocational Preference in Successful Individuals.
    Sumner, F.C., Somerville,Addison

  • I thoroly (sic) believe that if you make of your
    study of psychology a practical matter you can be
    of the greatest service to your own people.
  • written to Sumner by Dean James Porter, Clark
    University (1917)
  • (as cited in Guthrie, 2004, pp. 219)

First Black American to receive a Ph.D. in
psychology (1920)
  • Despite blatant racism and involvement in WWI
  • Opened the doors of many Black Americans after him

Spoke up against inequalities of Black Americans
  • 1918 Sparked controversial debates in his
    letters to the editor of the Worcester Gazette
  • Actively protested substandard education and
  • Probably influenced by W.E.B. DuBois
  • Americans views of Germans as barbaric,
    immoral were actually projection to minimize

W.E.B. DuBois
Protested for better education of Black students
  • Influenced by his own education options
  • Argued in a more politically correct way in the
    Educational Review
  • Negro as culturally inferior (Sumner, 1927)
  • This may have been his only choice, considering
    the Zeitgeist (Sawyer, 2000)

Professor at Howard University (1928)
  • President Johnson at Howard requested him
  • Responsible for developing Department of
  • 45 publications during his tenure
  • By 1972, 300 Ph.Ds had been received by African
    Americans in psychology - 60 of these had been
    undergrads or grads in Sumners department

Howard University, cont.
  • Kenneth Clark as his student
  • Kenneth Clark - the most successful and
    influential African American psychologist of the
    20th century (Sawyer, 2000, pp. 136)
  • Howard Universitys Department of Psychology
    still exists today

Peer Mentorship
  • A peer mentorship program was developed in his
    name at Clark University
  • Helps students to enhance self esteem,
    revitalize interest in the community, and leave
    their own legacies as Sumner did. (Francis C.
    Sumner Mentor Program Homepage, n.d.)

In Summary...
  • A Lifetime of Equal Rights
  • Sumners Education through Hardships
  • Research Interests
  • Influences . Even Today