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Mamie ClarkMamie Clark
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Session:         Page of 100

because they had a very small group of children in a nursery school. But they had published a paper on it, and I was very much taken with it. You know, it was just something that really gripped me. So I was fairly single track about this subject, of the development of consciousness of self, and the point at which children became aware of themselves and aware that they were black. So it wasn't the poverty that was the consuming thing to me. I might have been aware of that -- certainly many of these children were very poor.

Q:

Then it was the stark fact of the blackness that caused --

Clark:

-- that's what I was interested in --

Q:

-- any problem to be, Just irrespective of their intelligence level.

Clark:

I didn't say that the blackness caused problems. No. I was not trying to find that out. No. I think later we were trying to find out what the impact of this meant -- you know, what significance it was that children did learn so early. And later we concluded that it certainly had significance in terms of the development of an inferiority complex, etc., self-hatred. But I can't say that I was that broad in the beginning.

Q:

Can you remember a little more precisely just when you gained this insight, that it brought about self-hatred ?

Clark:

Well, that was when we enlarged the research, and we had many more children. We had children from the North and we had children from Southern schools. We had a very big sample.



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