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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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that was the area that I wanted to really specialize in, except that I couldn't afford it, in terms of being black, and being concerned with problems of social and racial justice, I couldn't afford the luxury of doing what I really wanted to do in psychology -- namely, know more about the brain and the nervous system, and how they affected behavior.

So I studied, you know, as much of that as I needed to and could. But when I got to Columbia, I knew -- I came to Columbia in order to work with Otto Kleinberg and Gardner Murphy, who were to me the outstanding social psychologists of their time, with Kleinberg being the specialist in race relations or racial psychology.

But if I had had my druthers, if I were white, I think I would have gone into neurophysiology totally.


Would this possibly have led to your returning to medicine, to become perhaps a surgeon?


xx No. No, I was really interested in pure research in neurophysiology. I've always been fascinated by the whole mystery of the nervous system. From my pre-psychology days, you know, when I was taking biology, if I had had a zoology professor who was not as limited pedantically as the one I had, I might have gone into that branch. But then I saw psychology as a beautiful bridge between the organism and behavior. But again, you know, there are choices that you can't make, if you are responsive and sensitive to certain forces. And the forces which I'd apparently always been responsive to were the ones that involved social justice, decency -- you know, why are people cruel to each other? Indirectly, one could probably arrive at answers to that question through the study of the nervous system. And in my

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