NAACP Mourns Death of Kenneth B. Clark, Psychologist and Educator Who Helped End School SegregationMay 02, 2005
Dr. Clark was a national authority on the negative effects of entrenched segregation
The NAACP mourns the passing of Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, whose groundbreaking studies of African American children in the south influenced the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that school segregation was unconstitutional. Clark died yesterday at his home in Hastings-on-the Hudson, N.Y.
NAACP Interim President and CEO Dennis Courtland Hayes said: "Dr. Clark made a monumental contribution to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that has proven so important in this country. His research has been key to the understanding by African Americans that we are all created equal in the eyes of God and to value our heritage."
Clark's research verified the damaging effect of racial segregation to black school children in the early 1950's. This testimony was used by attorney Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP to challenge the constitutionality of the separate-but-equal doctrine that violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Clark's testing of children in South Carolina showed that African American children educated in a segregated school system saw themselves as inferior and, as he wrote, "accepted the inferiority as part of reality."
In 1961, Clark was awarded the Spingarn Medal, the NAACP's highest award. Clark, a longtime professor at City College of New York, wrote several influential books and articles advancing the cause of integration.
Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.
CONTACT: NAACP Office of Communications 410.580.5125