In Memory: Frances Cress Welsing, M.D.

Position:In memoriam

March 18, 1935 - January 2, 2016

On January 2, 2016, one of the most renowned members globally of the Black Psychiatrists of America (BPA), Frances Cress Welsing, M.D., made her transition to the realm of Ancestor in Washington, DC due to the complications of two cerebral vascular accidents. It is with the deepest sympathy that we offer to her family at this time of their grief. She was 80 years of age at the time of her passing. She came from a legacy of healers and both her father and grandfather were physicians. Dr. Welsing, a native of Chicago, IL, was a graduate of Antioch College and a graduate of Howard University Medical School where she had once served on the medical college faculty in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry before building a professional career in the private practice of Psychiatry in Washington, DC. She was best known for her scholarly work and lectures on racism.

In 1970, she wrote "The Cress Theory of Color Confrontation and Racism" and first presented her theory at the National Medical Association's section on Psychiatry. Spanning more than 40 years since that publication, she fiercely defended her position to both friend and foes. She even debated the eugenicist, Dr. William Shockley, on Tony Brown's Journal and was reported to have "eviscerated" the Nobel Prize winner, explaining that her theory was "an attempt to understanding the behavior of white people in relationship to all people of color around the world." She also appeared on the Phil Donahue show. She stated that "White Supremacy behavior of white people was the number one mental health problem in this nation and it is the number one cause of other mental health problems". It was her belief that the genetic dominance of Blacks and other people of color had the capacity to annihilate "whiteness" as a color as it was a recessive genetic trait and that White + Black = colored; White + Brown = colored and White + Yellow = colored. She therefore, felt that world systems were created to suppress this fact and give the illusion that White was superior over all of the world's people of color despite there being numerically more people of color on the planet than those who chose to classify themselves as "white".

Dr. Welsing never deviated from this position despite job terminations and threats to her person as well as her property. "As Black people, we need to understand exactly what racism is and how it operates to maintain the system of white supremacy", she said...

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