Race and Excellence: My Dialogue with Chester Pierce by Ezra E.H. Griffith

By Ezra E.H. Griffith

Chester Pierce used to be born in 1927; by way of 1952 he used to be a graduate of the Harvard clinical university. He went directly to develop into president of the yankee Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and president of the yank Orthopsychiatric organization. He was once elected to the Institute of medication on the nationwide Academy of Sciences and had an annual learn seminar named after him by way of the nationwide clinical organization. Founding chair of the Black Psychiatrists of the USA, Pierce has profoundly affected American psychiatry and the taking into consideration African American psychiatrists over the past 20 years. whereas well-known for his noticeable scholarship on dealing with severe environments equivalent to the South Pole, he's most likely most sensible identified for his theories concerning how blacks do something about racism within the usa. In Race and Excellence, Ezra Griffith, additionally an African American professor of psychiatry, engages Pierce in a discussion with the target of clarifying the inter-connection among the non-public and the specialist within the lives of either black students. The textual content melds the tale of Pierce's existence and his achievements, with specific cognizance to his theories concerning the predictable nature of racist habit and the responses of oppressed teams. Having earned his doctorate a iteration after Pierce, Griffith methods his dialog with Pierce as a face-to-face assembly among mentor and pupil. Retelling Pierce's lifestyles tale eventually turns into for Griffith an workout in conceptualizing his personal event. As he writes, “I by no means simply desired to inform Chet's tale; i wished to paintings his tale out, to degree it, to aim it on, to determine which elements are sturdy for me and different blacks so earnestly looking heroes.”

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As a result, Chet and his two brothers all joined the black fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha in their collegiate years. Their father thought fraternity membership would provide a necessary social credential and would facilitate their establishing networks. Chet later joined Nu Sigma Nu, the oldest (and at the time, all-white) medical school fraternity, but not without some minor trauma once again. The national office threatened to expel the Harvard chapter when it announced that the chapter intended pledging Chet and another black student.

The Baptist and AME churches were the two black religious centers in Glen Cove that sponsored picnics and other social events for the towns black population, and Chet's mother played a prominent part in these goings-on. Indeed, Chet never went to a Sunday movie until well after he was married, believing all the Page 11 time that to do so on the Lord's day would have been a serious contravention of God's preference. His senior year in high school was full of events with a certain historic significance for Chet.

Parental cautions in the midst of Chet's being around numerous white women must have caused substantial pressure in a virile adolescent trying to come to terms with his emerging sexuality, particularly since he was aware of the young white women's interest in him. My early memories of contacts with white females provide substantial contrast. There were no whites, male or female, in my local Barbadian neighborhood. And I attended all-male schools until I reached the university. Furthermore, my church choir was male, as was my scout troop.

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