Who Was The First African American To Receive A Ph.D. In Psychology In The United States

Who Was The First African American To Receive A Ph.D. In Psychology In The United States?

In the United States Of America, African Americans were the race who were subdued and enslaved for a long time, because of their skin colour which is BLACK. They were denied many things because of their race, such as basic human rights, security and healthy food. Their living conditions were never concerning and they were treated no less than an ugly thing.

Even in their misery the African Americans did not lose hope, and stood their ground, kept asking for human rights. They mainly stood for their right to education, because they knew that education is the only thing that can change their lives and end their misery.

Not all Americans were as cruel as others, therefore there were institutions who thought of giving the black men their rights. But it was still dangerous to get higher education for the blacks, and if one was able to do it, it was no less than a heroic move.

A hero was born: Francis Sumner. 

In this article we will be covering: Who Was The First African American To Receive A PhD. In Psychology In The United States? We will mention the journey of Francis Sumner, if you are interested to know how black skin people have fought their way up, which eventually gave birth to Tupac, Dr Dre, Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar who we all look up to as great influencers, start reading. 

Who Was Francis Sumner?

Francis Sumner was a black skin man, who went against all the odds and gained his PhD degree in Psychology, later known as the father of black psychology. He was the first African American to receive the degree.

He was born in 1897 in Arkansas, where he received his education at home from his father. His parents were very adamant about giving Francis his education. He could not get into school, for further studies which are not possible at home, as he did not have any high school diploma degree.

He was asked to sit for an entrance examination to get into Lincoln University. The first-ever university was made for African Americans. At the age of 15, Sumner got into Lincoln University and graduated with an Honours degree in flying colours.

Sumner graduated as a valedictorian from Lincoln College, with MCL in Philosophy with special Honours in English, Greek, Modern Languages, Latin and Philosophy, in 1915. In 1916 he started his Bachelor In Arts In English at Clark University.

Sumner was later approved as a PhD candidate but could not get his dissertation, as he was lost in the army during World War 1. So he enrolled himself in the doctoral program in the same university again and got his dissertation as ‘psychoanalysis of Freud And Adler’ which was then accepted in 1920. 

Obstacles Sumner Had To Face

After his degree, he became a professor and started teaching in many universities. Like I said black skin was something that the white skin did not approve of, funny because the colour of the blood is something they both shared.  Sumner, despite having a PhD Degree had difficulties in publishing his articles, because, for the same reason, the skin colour.

The agencies decided not to fund him, so he loses the urge of becoming a person who the world will look up to in the future. The agencies were adamant to make him feel discouraged.

Like Abraham Lincoln said “walk slowly but never backwards”, Sumner too stayed determined and after a while finally published his articles.

Francis Sumner – A Memorable Figure 

Sumner was honoured with a military honour guard in memory of the services he offered during World War 1. His body is at rest in the Arlington Cemetery In Virginia.

His students loved him and remembered him as the most low key person and very much dedicated. He was a man who liked to stay quiet most of the time with unassuming nature. He tried all his life to bring some major changes in the education system that is above the racial bias.

He was known as Howard’s most stimulating scholar. 

Ending Thoughts

Here you with Who Was The First African American To Receive A PhD. In Psychology In The United States?. The answer is given at the beginning of the blog. We have also talked about Francis Sumner’s life.

May your soul rest in peace forever, sir Francis Sumner.

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