Interview with Judge Robert Carter
QUESTION 9
INTERVIEWER:

NOW IN THE BRIGGS CASE THERE IS A—I'M SORRY [unintelligible] IN THE BRIGGS CASE THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL PIECE OF EVIDENCE. THIS IS THE KENNETH CLARK EVIDENCE AND I WONDER IF YOU COULD TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHY YOU ASKED, WHY HE WAS ASKED TO GIVE EVIDENCE AND THE KIND OF CONTROVERSY, WHY HE WAS SUCH A SUPPORTER OF IT . [unintelligible].

Judge Robert Carter:

When we finished with Brown—not I'm sorry, with, when we finished with the case in one of the Supreme Court victories in 1950, with the Oklahoma case McLauren versus the University of Oklahoma, and Swett versus the University of Texas, which was the Law School case, we decided the time had come to attack the public school segregation. The problem was that in the Graduate School and in the Law School, we had an advantage in showing the teachers, the quality of the teachers the—what one could do, the offerings available, and so forth, and the prestige of the school. When we went to the public school, we had—that advantage was lost. And we were looking around for ways to find to convince the Court that these schools were unequal. And I had read a study—I'm sorry I think his name is Oppenheimer, but I can't recall his name—by a psychologist, who had made a study of Blacks coming into Philadelphia, and his—the import of this study was the longer they were there, the higher their educational, the higher they scored educationally. And that led me to think that maybe we could use this kind of psychological evidence. And I went to him and he said no, he didn't think he would be interested, but he pointed me to Kenneth Clark. And Kenneth and his wife had done a study of the impact of race on children with, by the use of dolls—and a white doll and a black doll—the which, which is the most beautiful, the best, and so forth. The Black child would always choose the white doll. And so I asked him would he be helpful, and he said yes. He got very interested in it, and became our advisor, testified in several cases as his wife did, tested some children in Clarendon County. And also got us a number of other people in the—psychologists, and psychiatrists, sociologists who committed themselves to the principle that segregation was an evil, and so forth. So that's how that came about.