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Forum to celebrate "race, religion and respect"

Released: 11/19/2004

A forum at LSU Alexandria Nov. 24 will recognize a landmark psychological study that played a role in the Supreme Court’s ruling to outlaw school segregation 50 years ago.

The importance of the “Doll Test” of the 1940s will be discussed at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24, in a forum presented by LSU Alexandria’s Psychology Club and Department of Psychology. The public is encouraged to attend the program titled “The 3 R’s: Race, Religion & Respect: Brown vs. Board of Education.

Admission is free. The forum will be in the Barbara Brumfield Caffey Annex.

The Doll Test, conducted by psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark in the 1940s, studied young black children’s attitudes toward a black doll and a white doll. Most showed a preference for the white doll and negative feelings toward the black doll, leading researchers to conclude that black children felt inferior to their white counterparts.

The research was at the heart of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling that outlawed segregation in public schools, said Dr. Greg Gormanous, chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Gormanous and Dr. Maureen O’Brien will be presenters during the 45-minute forum.

The Psychology Department and club also will host a public hearing at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24, on the Louisiana act that gives trained medical psychologists authority to prescribe drugs. The hearing is part of the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists’ rule-making process.