Join us in recognizing Black History Month! We celebrate the heritage, innovation, and resilience of the Black community, while acknowledging historical racism and oppression that persists today.
This year, the theme of Black History Month is “Black Health and Wellness.” Spotlighting the contributions of Black scholars, medical practitioners, and healers to health-related fields, the theme also recognizes the enduring health disparities experienced by the Black community. Read about how individuals and collectives have worked towards improving the mental health and well-being of their communities:
Chester Pierce, M.D., Sc.D., was the president of the Global Alliance (then the American Orthopsychiatric Society) from 1983-1984, founding president of the Black Psychiatrists of America, as well as a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Professor of Education at Harvard University. He frequently spoke on the mental health impact of racism in the U.S., coining the term “racial microaggression,” and serving as a senior advisor to Sesame Street, creating programming that intentionally countered racist media representations and presented a vision of an integrated society. Learn more about Dr. Pierce and his influence on the field of global mental health here.
Mamie Phipps Clark, Ph.D. & Kenneth Bancroft Clark, Ph.D., were child psychologists and civil rights activists who conducted foundational research on children’s attitudes towards race in their landmark doll study which was later cited in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Kenneth Clark later became the first Black president of the American Psychological Association in 1966.
The Black Mental Health Alliance is a Baltimore-based collective of mental health professionals who endeavor to improve the availability of culturally relevant services and clinicians that support the Black community. Their vision is “the creation of an equitable, respectful and compassionate society. The development of Black communities in which optimal mental health enables children, youth, adults, and families to strive for and embrace their best life.” Learn more about the Black Mental Health Alliance here.
Hope Landrine, Ph.D., was an influential health psychologist and former Director of the Center for Health Disparities. Her research focused on the social and cultural factors that contribute to disparities in chronic diseases and health behaviors among Black Americans. Read more about Dr. Landrine’s accomplishments and legacy here.
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D., physician, innovator, and public health leader, introduced the perspective of youth violence as a systemic public health issue, rather than a criminal justice problem. Learn more about Dr. Prothrow-Stith and her efforts to prevent violence among youth here.
How can you celebrate Black History Month with us?
- Watch GA Presidential Award Winner David R. William’s TED talk, How racism makes us sick
- Read recent AJO articles on Black college students’ experiences with multi-level racism and protective factors associated with positive mental health
- Check out organizations dedicated to the mental wellness of Black communities, such as the Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM) Collective, Black Men Heal, and the Loveland Foundation