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Tue, 05.15.1934

Alvin Poussaint, Psychiatrist born

Dr. Alvin Poussaint

Alvin Poussaint was born on this date in 1934. He is a Black psychiatrist, educator, and scientist who conducted several studies on African Americans' psychological and social issues.

Alvin Francis Poussaint was born in East Harlem. He received his B.A. from Columbia College in 1956 and an M.D. from Cornell University Medical School in 1960. Dr. Poussaint was employed from 1965 to 1967 by the Medical Committee for Human Rights in Jackson, MS. He provided medical care to American Civil Rights workers and helped desegregate Southern health facilities. He taught at Tufts Medical School and Harvard Medical School.  In 1971, he joined the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) and served as one of Jackson's advisers in the 1984 presidential campaign.

Dr. Poussaint was a consultant for "The Cosby Show" from 1984 to 1992 and "A Different World" from 1986 to 1993.  He ensured that the two television series presented positive images of Blacks. Dr. Poussaint became a professor of psychiatry and an associate dean at the Harvard Medical School in 1993. Dr. Poussaint has researched and written about such topics as the psychological and social adjustments of children of interracial marriages and the impact of racism on the psychological development of Blacks.

He is the author of "Why Blacks Kill Blacks" and "The Raising of Black Children." Dr. Poussaint is the media director of the Judge Baker Children's Center.  In 2007, he published, Come On, People: On the path from victims to victors, by Bill Cosby and Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Thomas Nelson: Nashville.

To become a Psychologist


Black Heroes of The Twentieth Century
Edited by Jessie Carney Smith
Copyright 1998 Visible Ink Press, Detroit, MI
ISBN 1-57859-021-3

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