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Scholar, author and psychiatrist Dr. Frances Cress Welsing passed away after suffering a stroke this past weekend, coming as quite the shock to her many supporters. Dr. Welsing became a nationally known figure for her controversial 1991 book, The Isis Papers, which expanded upon an essay she wrote in the ’70’s while working at Howard University.

Welsing was born March 18, 1935 to Dr. Henry Cress, a medical doctor, and Ida Griffen, a schoolteacher, in Chicago, Ill. She attended Antioch College and graduated with her bachelor’s in 1957 and earned her doctorate at Howard University in 1962.

After working in the Washington, D.C. area as a psychiatrist, Welsing joined Howard’s faculty as an assistant professor of pediatrics. It was during this tenure when she published her essay, “The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy),” which left some divided over her theories surrounding white supremacy and an insidious scheme to hold Black people as inferior.

According to Welsing’s account, Howard decided to not renew her position with the school after the publishing of the paper. She then began working with Department of Human Services and worked over two decades as a psychiatrist, mostly with children and was acclaimed for her work.

Despite the accolades given online by figures such as Public Enemy’s Chuck D and others, Welsing’s views were seen as homophobic and even misogynist by some measures. The Isis Papers expanded on several of Welsing’s ideas around whites feeling threatened by the scope and reach of Black people around the globe, even down to the size of genitalia.

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9 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

  1. Charles Wright on said:

    Dr. Welsing, for one who has given so much for so little return, I’m convinced that there’s a special place in heaven for you kind. Rest. Too awesome to be forgotten.

  2. David Shabazz Leonard on said:

    I love you Dr.Welsing you are and always will be the spiritual mother for Blacks globally.General Shabazz

  3. I had the honor and privilege to meet Dr. Welsing at a tribute to one of her early teachers and mentors, Dr. Margaret Burroughs. Dr. Welsings love, passion, and uncompromising commitment to alleviate the suffering of persons (individual and collective) adversely affected by Racism has made a significant contribution to the science of Behavioral Health. Dr. Welsing was a “Spiritual Walker” and her legacy will radiate forever from the “Tree of Life”.

  4. Art Fort on said:

    Dr. Welsing,

    You were awesome, We will miss you greatly and will always honor your work in identifying who our real oppressor is.


  5. With White Supremacy being as insidious as it is, her insight of its workings were priceless information. We will miss her interpretations of its effects on black consciousness. She has ascended to the throne of our Ancestors, we salute you!

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