Previous | Next
5960616263646566676869707172737475767778798081828384858687888990919293949596979899100101102103104105106107108 of 763
watched him, and began to use him as a model, it became clear even
to me that brashness and assertiveness and, you know, arguments, were
not enough, that you had to have some substance behind you, and I
told my mother that I was going to major in psychology.
She said, “OK. What are you going to do with it?”
I didn't know. I just wanted to be like Dr. Sumner.
By the way, there's a new book out, by a black psychologist,
published by Harper and Rowe, entitled, EVEN THE RATS ARE WHITE.
Dr. Guthrie has a chapter on Francis Cecil Sumner, entitled, “The
Father of Black Psychologists.” I don't know how literally true that
is, but he certainly was my father. He was my intellectual father.
He changed my life, and I think somewhat changed my personality,
When I got interested in psychology, I went overboard, in
terms of taking all the courses in philosophy, courses in English.
Oddly enough, I didn't take any courses in sociology. I think I
took may be a course or so in economics. No, I didn't. That's right,
I didn't. I got to know the economics professor, Abe Harris, and
learned a lot from him outside of the classroom, got to know Ralph
Bunche very well, learned a great deal from him, as a person, teacher,
professor. E. Franklin Frazier in sociology, although I didn't take
a course from him until I was a graduate student; Alain Locke, a
brilliant man. I took every course that Alain Locke taught in the
What was happening at Howard, from my junior year on, or
the latter part of my sophomore year, was that I was being integrated
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help