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Sun, 04.09.1933

Dr. Nathan Hare, Sociologist born

Dr. Nathan Hare

*Nathan Hare was born on this date in 1933.  He is a Black sociologist, activist, academic, and psychologist.   

Nathan Hare was born on his parents' sharecropper farm near the Creek County town of Slick, Oklahoma. He attended segregated public schools, L'Ouverture Elementary School, named after the Haitian revolutionary and general Toussaint Louverture; they were part of the "Slick Separate Schools" in the late 1930s and 1940s.  When Hare was eleven years old, his family migrated to San Diego, California during the defense buildup related to World War II. His single mother took a civilian janitorial job with the Navy air station.  As World War II ended and his mother was laid off, she brought her family back to Oklahoma.  

Hare's life path was set in high school after he was selected in ninth grade to represent the class at the annual statewide "Interscholastic Meet" of the Black students held at Oklahoma's Langston University.  Hare won first prize at the meet, with more prizes to come in ensuing years. The L'Ouverture principal encouraged him to go to college and arranged for him to start at Langston with a full-time job working in the University Dining Hall to pay his way. By his junior year, Hare was working as a Dormitory Proctor of the University Men, and as a Freshman Tutor in his senior year.  

When Hare enrolled at Langston University, it was the only college to admit Black students in the state of Oklahoma.  The town was founded by Black nationalists hoping to make the Oklahoma Territory an all-Black state. Langston, Oklahoma is one of the first all-Black towns established in the United States.  One of Hare's professors was the poet Melvin B. Tolson. He was also elected mayor of the town for four terms and was named poet laureate of Liberia. Graduating from Langston with his BA in Sociology, Hare won a Danforth Fellowship to continue his education; he obtained an MA (1957) and PhD in Sociology (1962) from the University of Chicago.  

Hare married fellow Langston University student Julia Reed. She worked in communications and public relations, and later collaborated with him on several books and as cofounder of The Black Think Tank.  Hare continues to run a full-time practice of psychology and directs the Black Think Tank.  He and his wife have written and published several books together on Black families and history.  In 1968 he was one of the first persons hired to coordinate a Black studies program in the United States at San Francisco State University. He had become involved in the Black Power movement while teaching at Howard University.  After being fired as chair of the Black Studies program at San Francisco State, in November 1969 Hare and Robert Chrisman co-founded the journal, The Black Scholar: A Journal of Black Studies and Research), of which Nathan Hare was founding publisher from 1969-85.  

After earning his Ph.D., in clinical psychology, Hare set up a private practice in Oakland and San Francisco.  In 1985, it published a small book written by him and his wife (Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood). This was among numerous publications dealing with black youth and contributed to the development of a 1980s movement for rites of passage for African American boys. Both of the Hares lectured and promoted this practice across the United States. Julia Hare later published a book, How to Find and Keep a BMW (Black Man Working) (1995) and The Black Agenda, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 2002.  

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