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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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a psychologist.

And one evening I remember her saying -- I told you, we had two children -- she said to me, “Kenneth, I've come to the conclusion that I can't work for anyone else. I have to work for myself. I have to do something for myself. And there's a need for help for children.”

I said, “OK, let's figure it out. “This was about ‘44, ‘45.

I wrote to her father, who was -- I won't say wealthy -- yes, I'd say certainly an affluent physician in Arkansas, and who loved his only daughter with a passion, and I told him that Mamie and I were thinking -- by the way, I was teaching at the college then -- that Mamie and I had decided to start a clinic, and that we needed financial help. His response was, “What do you need?”

I always felt that Dr. Phipps, you know -- the only thing that he needed to know was that his daughter (certainly his daughter more than I) wanted something, and that was that.

The interesting thing is that Mamie would always ask me to do the communicating with Dr. Phipps. I said I would communicate in her name -- which was also correct. And the response was always positive.

So I knew that we would have his backing in doing whatever Mamie wanted to do. And we spent about a year, going around to the existing social agencies, and trying to sell them with the notion that this was a very important program area that was being ignored, neglected, namely providing professional services for emotionally disturbed children in the Harlem area.

At that time, they were either ignored or sent away or, you know, labeled as delinquents and what not.

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