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Society

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 378–382 | Cite as

Louisa Pinkham Holt, Public Sociology and Racial Desegregation

  • Lawrence T. NicholsEmail author
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Abstract

The article examines the career of sociologist-social psychologist Louisa Pinkham Holt with particular emphasis on her expert testimony in the landmark racial desegregation case of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. I provide some necessary background information on Louisa's upbringing, education and professional training that helps to contextualize and explain her testimony. I then describe some of the later consequences of her involvement in Brown v. Board, including a portrayal of her role in a popular film, and I sketch out the details of her subsequent, non-conforming professional career. I conclude that although Louisa is not widely remembered today, her expert testimony remains one of the most successful examples of "public sociology.

Keywords

Brown v. Board of Education Harvard University Louisa Pinkham Public sociology Radcliffe College Social psychology 

Notes

Further Reading

  1. Bailey, Enid. 1992. Letter to the organizers of the Martin Luther King breakfast, February 26. In the Louisa Pinkham Holt Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar
  2. Brown v. Board of Education Trial Homepage. N.D. “Trial Testimony in Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka: Louisa Holt.”Google Scholar
  3. Buonimi, C. 2008. Interview with Robert H. Holt. International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 17(4), 249–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carter, Robert. 1954. Letter to Louisa Pinkham Holt, June 21. In the Louisa Pinkham Holt Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar
  5. Cook, B. 1993. Louisa to Louisa Pinkham Howe, June 21. In the Louisa P:inkham Holt Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar
  6. Greenberg, Jack. 1951. Letter to Louisa Pinkham Holt, November 5. In the Louisa Pinkham Holt Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar
  7. Greenberg, Jack. 1992. Letter to Louisa Pinkham Howe, January 31. In the Louisa Pinkham Holt Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar
  8. Holt, Louisa Pinkham. N.D. Papers. Schlesinger Library, Racliffe Institute, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  9. Holt, Louisa Pinkham. 1949. Psychoanalysis and the Social Process: An Examination of Freudian Theory with Reference to Some of Its Sociological Implications and Counterparts. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Harvard University Archives, Pusey Library.Google Scholar
  10. Howe, Louisa Pinkham. 1993. Letter to the producers of “Simple Justice,” January 25. In the Louisa Pinkham Holt Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar
  11. Howe, Louisa Pinkham. 1955. “Some sociological aspects of identification.” pp. 61–79 in Psychoanalysis and the Social Sciences, vol. 4. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  12. Kluger, R. 1976. Simple justice: The history of Brown v. Board of Education and the black struggle for equality. New York:Knopf.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Patterson, J. 2002. Brown v. Board of Education: A civil rights milestone and its troubled legacy. New York:Oxford.Google Scholar
  14. Pinkham, H. W. 1923. Collective homicide. Boston:Association to Abolish War.Google Scholar
  15. Pinkham, Henry Winn. N.D.-a Papers. University of Denver Library, Special Collections and Archives.Google Scholar
  16. Pinkham, Louisa Catherine. 1937. Utopia and the Search for Causality. Unpublished senior honors thesis in sociology. Available at Widener Library, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  17. Pinkham, Wenona Osborne. N.D.-b Papers. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute.Google Scholar
  18. Shaw, Theodore M. “Tribute to Jack Greenberg.” Columbia Law Review 117(5).Google Scholar
  19. Supreme Court of the United States. 1954. Brown v. Board of Education. 347 U.S. 483.Google Scholar
  20. Willie, Charles V. 1998. “Statement Delivered at the Memorial Service of Dr. Louisa P. Howe.” In the Louisa Pinkham Holt Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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