Previous | Next
357358359360361362363364365366367368369370371372373374375376377378379380381382383384385386387388389390391392393394395396397398399400401402403404405406407 of 763
was able to meet the competition
of the whites. I mean, this was their level of development at that time.
And I don't think they were particularly sensitive to any other aspect of my being that
was different. I mean, I think they were more concerned with the fact that I was different
in color, than that I was different in all these other peculiar perverse ways in which I
believe I am different.
So that kind of thinking would not be consistent with what they were fixated about.
And of course, they saw that I could meet their standards and requirements, which
presented them, I think, even more with the dilemma that-- and then Mamie came right after
me and did it too. Unfortunately, nobody else who's black, to my knowledge, has gotten a
PhD from the psychology department at Columbia since Mamie. I was the first. Mamie was the
last, second and last. All right.
So, certainly in the thirties and the early forties, this was novel enough to occupy
their concern, and Mamie and I were Machiavellian enough to let it do that. We weren't
going to give them any other burdens. And Mamie was even more daring than I; she went
right into the lion's den, Henry Garrett's. She became his student, knowing full well
where he stood on race.
Maybe later on, this might have been a factor. I don't think it was a factor in the
department at City College. And I don't know whether I made as clear to you as I should
that this is one aspect of my life, and my professional and personal career, that I felt,
race was a non-factor. And I really don't know how to
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help