Frances Cress Welsing is an American Afrocentrist psychiatrist who became known for her 1970 essay The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism, which became the beginning of the Isis Papers. Born on March 18, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois, her father, Henry, was a doctor and his mother, Ida, was a teacher. She obtained her high school diploma and then went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in 1957 and her medical degree from Howard University in 1962,
After receiving her M.D., Welsing continued to achieve her career goal of child psychology. She worked in a variety of hospitals, especially children’s hospitals. Not only would Welsing go on to work as a physician in Washington D.C.’s Department of Human Services for twenty-five years, but she also opened her private practice in 1967. She published her first essay, The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism while working as an assistant professor at Howard University. Not only did this essay open the door for Welsing’s later work but the essay also created controversy as it opened people’s minds to a different explanation for racism.
The basis of the essay states that racism occurs because Whites feel inferior to Blacks. On top of this, Welsing stated that people with white or lighter skin are born this way because their skin creates less melanin, which is what produces skin color. In conclusion, Welsing stated that White racists were simply jealous of Blacks because they produced more melanin. Unfortunately, for Welsing, this essay became so controversial that she did not receive tenure for her job and ended up losing her teaching position.
However, this did not stop Welsing from further advancing in her research and continuing to discuss her findings, observations, and conclusions of her work. In 1992, Welsing published another work called The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors, which further established her 1970 essay, The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism. The Isis Papers was a book compiled of eighteen essays Welsing had written over several years. In the book, Welsing not only discusses the issues that African Americans face in the United States but the issues they face around the world, such as genocide. Welsing states that some races perform genocide on the African race because they don’t produce melanin like the African race.
In The Isis Papers, Welsing states that the genocide problem can be easily solved just by the people who perform the act discussing and understanding the reason behind the genocide. She believed if people with lighter skin simply understood how melanin works with the body that the problem of genocide and racism would decrease, if not end. But genocide wasn’t the only problem Welsing discussed in her book. She also stated that all the other racist issues that Africans face in the world, such as murder, infant mortality, teen pregnancy, incarceration, drug abuse, and unemployment. Welsing believed that these issues are caused by racism, with its focus towards men of the Black communities.
Welsing was not only an advocate in her writing but also in other ways. Through her speeches, she focused on a strong family unit in the Black communities, believing that couple should wait until their thirties to have children. Welsing stated that if they waited, they could focus on their education and then, when they had children, educate their children to focus on ways to end White supremacy. Frances Cress Welsing passed away on January 2, 2016, at the age of 80, leaving a lasting legacy regarding her beliefs of White supremacy and how the Black communities can focus to bring about its end.
Watch Welsing’s lecture Freedom from psychological slavery Awakening from the African Dream below.
Sources: https://blackpast.org/aah/welsing-frances-cress-1935-2016 https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/welsing-frances-cress-1935 https://www.noi.org/dr-frances-cress-welsing/ https://www.blackenterprise.com/dr-frances-cress-welsing-author-of-the-isis-papers-dead-at-80/
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