Someone in your life or in history will give you the inspiration to try to become a value to society. That person for me is Dr. Kenneth Bancroft Clark (1914 – 2005). Dr. Clark was an African American psychologist, educator, and was very involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Clark was known for “The Clark Doll Experiment”. The experiment was conducted on children to determine what skin color appealed to that generation. That experiment determined that we are predisposed to see things a certain way due to our environment.
I will become a Sports Psychologist. In the fall of 2020 I will began classes at Arizona Christian University. I plan to work with underprivileged child athletes on the pressures and feelings that they receive from their privileged counterparts and from having coaches that are individuals not from their culture. There has to be a feeling of segregation for those children when they walk into a classroom, a gym or onto a football field where none of the authority figures that look like them. My goal will be to see if those children feel pressured or bullied by their environment. Dr. Clark was also involved in the Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation case. He shared his theory on what problems segregation created for children. Many of the things that Dr. Clark tried to change are still occurring in the smaller communities. Maybe not the segregation of the students in the classroom. However, the need to have a teacher or a coach that looks like them and understands that their experience may not be the same. I will explore the education process for those children. My questions are the same as Dr. Clarks visions of are they getting the guidance and educational needs that their counterparts receive from their schools.
I will find out if the underprivileged student-athletes get the same support and encouragement from their coaches that the other athletes receive. Are those children be given the opportunity to attend the top Universities with the same support and recommendations as their counterparts?
As an educator, Dr. Clark assumed that by helping to integrate the students it would also apply to his fellow educators. I cannot say that it has not in happened in some areas, but in many of the rural areas in the southern region, it has not. Yes, there are maintenance workers or teachers aids that the children see that look like them. However, those students need to know that they can strive for more. According to an article in the New York Times, research has shown that children benefit more from people who look like them or from diverse environments.
After graduating with my degree in Psychology, I will strive to help make the southern rural areas as diverse as possible. I will follow in the footsteps of Dr. Kenneth Bancroft Clark.