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Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology

Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology is an open resource for young people who are interested in learning more about psychology’s past, present and future.

The book celebrates the contributions of Black people to the field of psychology and its allied professions. Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology is co-authored by Parise Carmichael-Murphy and Adam Danquah. Parise is a PhD Education Student at The University of Manchester and a Trial Manager at the Youth Mental Health Research Unit. Adam is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, as well as a practicing Clinical Psychologist and Psychodynamic Psychotherapist.

The resource was developed after Parise took part in I’m a Scientist get me out of here (Psychology Zone). I’m a Scientist offers students the opportunity to engage with scientists through real-time online chats. During the chats, students asked a lot of questions about how long it takes to train to be qualified in psychology and what exactly you might do after studying a psychology qualification if not working as a psychology professional. In response, the Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology resource aimed to challenge who we typically think of when we think of a ‘psychologist’, but also to challenge the idea of a ‘traditional’ path into psychology careers. We also offer some clear guidance on ‘Studying psychology in education’ which is a prerequisite for most psychological professions.

The aim is for Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology to reach as many young people and those who live and work with them as possible. Fortunately, the resource has been shared as a community link under ‘teaching resources’ for exam board AQA’s GCSE and A-level Psychology pages. Speaking on Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology Rosie McGinley, Head of Psychology at AQA says:

“Hidden Histories; Black In Psychology” is an important and powerful resource for ensuring that all young people can connect with and see themselves reflected in Psychology. At AQA, we believe that everyone benefits when we put equality, diversity and inclusion at the core of what we do and we were delighted to include Hidden Histories in our Psychology community links.”

Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology introduces young people who are thinking about studying or working in psychology to a range of people who have contributed to the field and allied professions. It also celebrates Black culture; something that is not particularly prevalent across psychology in curriculum or practice. Sinmi, a Year 9 student, reviewed Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology in a blog post for Diverse Educators. In this blog, Sinmi highlights how the resource has the potential to support students to better connect with themselves and the psychology curriculum.

Sarah is an Assistant Educational Psychologist who is committed to tackling educational inequality for children and young people from marginalised backgrounds. She shares some of her thoughts about her own experience and the resource next:

I developed a passion in Psychology whilst studying at A-level but I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the syllabus at the time. I decided that I wanted to be an impactful figure in the field of Psychology within the UK and decided to embark on the journey to become an Educational Psychologist.

Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology clearly presents a range of topics that offer insight into the history of Black people in Psychology, as well as their work to address racial disparities across the field. The booklet also features a helpful and honest account about the journey of becoming a Clinical Psychologist. Kingsley Ogun carefully details his experience whilst on his journey, which I can identify with. It highlights how competitive the process can be. However, it also demonstrates the need to persevere and the significance of being as reflective as possible, which is key during the application and interview process.

Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology is a positive resource that uplifts and celebrates Black professionals and practitioners within Psychology. As a Black British Woman in education, I didn’t often feel represented, particularly in the world of Psychology. I wish I had access to this booklet in Secondary School and Higher Education.”

You can read, download and share the Hidden Histories: Black in Psychology resource.

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