Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 763

behaviorist, although he certainly respected Watsonian behaviorism, you know, and I had to learn about the sense organs and the nervous system and the brain and what not. You had no loopholes. Sumner would not let you say, “Well, I'm interested in the theoretical” or “I'm interested in Freudian, so therefore I don't have to pay any attention to the organism.” You had to pay attention to every damn thing, and I think, rightly so-- so much so that when I started teaching --

By the way, right after I got my masters from him, he invited me to teach there for a year, and I had the munificant salary of $150 a month, in 1936-37, which was tremendous. Then I could take Mamie out to dinner.

In fact, she was in my class. I taught her abnormal psychology.

There was no escape from all of the aspects of the complexity of the human organism, for this man. And by the way, I'm talking about him as if he were the only professor of psychology at Howard, and that's not true. I mean, there was Max Meenes, who was a very good teacher. He died last year. He taught psychology of learning. But he was a more precise -- I mean, he had outlines of his courses. He did not have the sweep of Sumner. I mean, you know what Meenes was going to concentrate on, and if you remembered those things -- I hope I'm not doing him an injustice. Maybe, instead of talking about Meenes, I should just tell you that Sumner had a greater sweep and breadth and scope of man and civilization and values and justice and what not, than anyone I have ever met.

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help