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’Racially Stuffed Shirts and Other Enemies of Mankind’: Horace Mann Bond’s Parody of Segregationist Psychology in the 1950s

Jackson, John (2004) ’Racially Stuffed Shirts and Other Enemies of Mankind’: Horace Mann Bond’s Parody of Segregationist Psychology in the 1950s, in Winston, Andrew, Eds. A Measure of Difference: Historical Perspectives on Psychology, Race, and Racism, pages pp. 261-283. American Psychological Association.

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Abstract

In the wake of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the White South embarked on a program of “massive resistance” to desegregation. Among the resources used by the White South in its propaganda effort against desegregation was the differential between the IQ scores of White and African American students. This IQ gap, White Southerners argued, was genetic, innate, and immune from environmental influences. The IQ gap, they concluded, made effective desegregation impossible. In the face of these claims, African American educator Horace Mann Bond, indulging what he called his “propensity for bad jokes, especially those involving….Racially Stuffed Shirts and other Enemies of Mankind” (Bond, 1961), issued a number of stinging critiques of racist claims about the intelligence of African Americans. In this paper I will first frame the notion of an Afrocentric psychology in order to understand the nature of Bond’s critique. Then I lay out the arguments that Bond and other African American social scientists made in the 1920s against the racial interpretations of IQ tests. Then I show how the racial interpretations of IQ tests returned in the 1950s as part of the White South’s attack on the Brown decision. Finally, I explore Bond’s satire of the segregationist position and how it destabilized

EPrint Type:Book Chapter
Keywords:Afrocentricity, Racism, Intelligence Testing, Segregation
Subjects:Chronology > 20th Century
Psychology > Race
History > Social
ID Code:215
Deposited By:Jackson, John
Deposited On:08 July 2004