This Black History Month, we recognize the many influential Black Americans who have positively impacted our field. Black Americans’ contributions to the field of mental health have been long overlooked. Let’s explore some trailblazers who have paved the way toward a brighter future.

  • Bebe Moore Campbell: As an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate, Bebe Moore Campbell was known for her tireless efforts to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities. She founded NAMI-Inglewood in a predominantly Black neighborhood to create a space that was safe for Black people to talk about mental health concerns. On June 2, 2008, Congress recognized Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to bring awareness to the unique mental health struggles that underrepresented groups face.
  • Herman George Canady, Ph.D.: A prominent Black clinical and social psychologist, Herman George Canady was the first psychologist to study the influence of rapport between an IQ test proctor and the subject, specifically researching how the race of a test proctor can create bias in IQ testing.
  • E. Kitch Childs, Ph.D.: In 1969, E. Kitch Childs helped to found the Association for Women in Psychology. She was also a founding member of Chicago’s Gay Liberation Front. In addition to being a leader for women in psychology and the LGBTQ+ community, she centered her research and work around the experiences of Black women and feminist theory.
  • Solomon Carter Fuller, M.D.: As one of the first known African American psychiatrists, Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller made significant contributions to the study of Alzheimer’s disease, performing ground-breaking research on the physical changes to the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
These Black pioneers are just some of those who have helped shape the mental health landscape, and we celebrate their achievements year-round. Learn more about the contributions of Black Americans in mental health here: https://www.mhanational.org/black-pioneers-mental-health.

Celebrating Black American pioneers in mental health