New Africana Studies Scholarship honors Joseph L. White, father of Black Psychology

Author: Lisa D. White
February 6, 2024
Lisa D. White standing in front of a t-rex skeleton

Carrying on a Legacy

For as long as I can remember, my parents, Joseph L. White (A.B., ’54; M.A., ’58) and Myrtle Escort White (attended ’51 – ’53), spoke fondly about their undergraduate years at SF State. They were first-generation college students whose families came to the Bay Area during the Great Migration of African American families from the South and other areas of the country. My father just arrived in San Francisco from Minneapolis, Minnesota, before enrolling at SF State in 1950. My mother’s family moved here from Beaumont, Texas, in the 1940s. My father said he immediately noticed my mother on campus in 1951 by the large medical books she often carried (she was a pre-nursing major). When my mother passed away in the spring of 2023 at age 89 (preceded in death by my father in 2017 at age 84), I reflected on my family’s 70-plus year history with SF State.

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