Francis Sumner

"The Father of Black Psychology"

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  • Francis Cecil Sumner was born December 7, 1895, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  • Sumner died January 12, 1954, in Washington D.C.


  • First African American male to receive a Ph.D. in psychology (1920)
  • Attended Clark University & Lincoln University
  • No spouse or children
  • Professor of psychology & philosophy at: Wilberforce University, Ohio; Southern University, Louisiana
  • Served as chair of psychology department at Harvard University


  • Involved in creating the psychology department at Harvard University along with Max Meenes, and Frederick P. Watts
  • Published many psychological articles
  • Official abstractor of many journals ( Psychological Bulletin, Journal of Social Psychology)
  • Translated many psychological studies into French, German, and Spanish