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Tim Spofford Book Talk

Friday, May 17, 2024

In 1940, Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Phipps Clark used a grant to study Black pupils’ dawning sense of racial identity in the nominally integrated North – Springfield, Massachusetts – and in the strictly segregated South, Mamie’s hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

A dramatic episode in Black history is told in vivid detail for the first time in Tim Spofford’s What The Children Told Us. Unfolding like a novel, it’s the biography of Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Phipps Clark, the Harlem psychologists who developed the legendary doll test. Using brown and white dolls, their experiment played a key role in the landmark Supreme Court ruling against segregated school systems in 1954.


Today, Clark dolls are on exhibit at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, and at the Brown v. the Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas. The Clark experiment is conducted today by students and scholars around the world.

Dr. Andrea Douglas and Tim Spofford discuss the book, the experiment and its effect on the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.

  • Type: Lectures,Special Event
  • Time: May 17, 2024 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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