Joseph L. White, Ph.D., Black Psychology

Joseph L. White (1932-2017) is known as “the Godfather of Black psychology.” He wrote the groundbreaking article “Toward a Black Psychology,” which is credited as being the first ever strengthsbased (rather than deficit-based) evaluation and description of Black behavior and culture. He passionately advocated for the creation of Black psychology, arguing that applying white psychology to Black people often unfairly created the illusion of Black inferiority, when ultimately it was a reflection of culturally irrelevant psychological principles being applied. He also helped found the Association of Black Psychologists as well as the Black Studies program at San Francisco State University in 1968. White mentored hundreds of first generation people of color in psychology. His unwavering belief in the power of mentorship, humanity, dignity, and equity changed the field and transformed lives. James P. Comer, M.D., M.P.H., Child Psychology

Dr. Comer (b. 1934) is the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center in New Haven, Conn. He is known nationally and internationally for his creation of the Comer School Development Program in 1968 within Yale University’s School of Medicine. Dr. Comer’s has focused his career on improving school restructuring. He is a co-founder and past president of the Black Psychiatrists of America. Dr. Comer is the recipient of countless recognitions and more than 48 honorary degrees. In 2014, he received a prestigious nomination by President Barrack Obama to serve on the President’s Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.


Rebecca Lee Crumpler, MD In 1864, after years as a nurse, Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831 – 1895) became the first Black woman in the United States to receive an MD degree. She earned that distinction at the New England Female Medical College in Boston, Mass. – where she also was the institution’s only Black graduate. After the Civil War, Crumpler moved to Richmond, Va., where she worked with other Black doctors who were caring for formerly enslaved people in the Freedmen’s Bureau. While she faced sexism and other forms of harassment, Crumpler ultimately found the experience transformative. Crumpler also wrote “A Book of Medical Discourses: In Two Parts.” Published in 1883, the book addresses children’s and women’s health and is written for “mothers, nurses, and all who may desire to mitigate the afflictions of the human race.”


Charles Richard Drew, MD Charles Richard Drew, MD, (1904 1950) known as the “father of blood banking,” pioneered blood preservation techniques that led to thousands of lifesaving blood donations. Drew’s doctoral research explored best practices for banking and transfusions, and its insights helped him establish the first large-scale blood banks. Drew directed the Blood for Britain project, which shipped muchneeded plasma to England during World War II. Drew then led the first American Red Cross Blood Bank and created mobile blood donation stations that are now known as bloodmobiles.

Courtesy of the City of Hollywood African American Advisory Council.