Francis Sumner

"Father of Black Psychology"

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  • Born on December 7, 1865
  • Died on January 12, 1954

Background Information

Francis Sumner was the first African American to receive his Ph.D. in Psychology. He started school at Lincoln University then went on and attended Clark University. After attending those two schools he went back to Lincoln University and that is where he received his degree in Psychology. Francis was married twice but did not have any children. He died of a massive heart attack while shoveling snow in 1954.

What was he known for in Psychology?

His career mainly focused on investigating racism of African Americans. With him being the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in Psychology, he truly believed in refuting African Americans status during this time period. He is known for teaching other famous social psychologist. He served as the chair of Psychology department at Howard University.