Mamie Phipps Clark is a significant figure to psychology. She was the first African American women to earn a doctorate of Philosophy degree in Psychology from Columbia University (Butler,2009).It was hard for her, but Mamie Phipps accomplished what most African American women couldn't do during the early 1940's. She studied the effect of segregation and racism on the self-esteem of African American children. The research her and her husband did was very important in the success of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education(Butler, 2009). She also co-founded the North side Center for Child Development, one of the first agencies to make psychological services available to the poor. Mamie Phipps is an African American Psychologist who helped accomplish many things during the Civil Right movement.
After getting her Doctorate at Columbia University, occupation openings were nearly non-existent, and Clark concluded, "That a black female with a Ph.D. in psychology was an unwanted anomaly in New York City in the early 1940s" (Butler, 2009). She found it upsetting to find that a number of white men and women with far less qualification were employed at moderately higher salaries. Clark detained two jobs from 1944-1946, which was analyzing data about nurses for the American Public Health Association, which was a position Mamie was embarrassed about. The other job was a Research Psychologist with the United States Armed Forces Institute. In 1946, Mamie Clark took a position as a psychologist with the Riverdale Home for Children, which was a private agency to protect, black homeless girls (Karera, 2010). She loved this job a lot and discovered that there was a severe lack of psychological services for minority children. Clark was unable to persuade the directors of social agencies to help open up more psychological services for minorities, so Clark and her husband opened the North side Center for Child Development. In the Center they would help minority children with their problems. "The center was the first full-time institution in the Harlem area that offered psychological and casework studies to local families" (Lyman, 1999).
Mamie had two main experiments on African American children. Her master thesis, "The Development of Consciousness in Negro Pre-School Children" was completed in 1939(Karera, 2010). Dr.Clark research was that she would sit young black children down. "She would show a white doll and a black doll to the children in the experiment. They were then asked which doll they preferred to play with. Over half of the children rejected the black doll and preferred the white doll. Then the children were asked to give the experimenter the colored doll, then the white doll. This way, Mamie would be sure that the children could identify the difference between the two"(Gibson, 2009). She would then give the kids a coloring