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Nathan Hare

African American studies professor and psychologist Nathan Hare was born on April 9, 1933 in Slick, Oklahoma. As a young age he experienced segregation and tense race relations in Oklahoma. Hare planned on becoming a professional boxer until one of his high school teachers suggested he attend college, where he took sociology classes and switched his major from English to sociology. In 1954, he received his A.B. degree from Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma. In 1957, he earned his M.A. degree from University of Chicago. In that same year, he married his wife, Julia Hare, also a noted psychologist and sociologist. Five years later, in 1962, he earned the first of two Ph.D. degrees. The first Ph.D. degree in sociology was from the University of Chicago and the second Ph.D. degree, awarded from the California School of Professional Psychology in 1975, was in clinical psychology.

In 1961, he became an instructor and assistant professor in sociology at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Some of his students included Stokely Carmichael and Claude Brown. Later, in September 1966, he wrote a letter to the editor of the The Hilltop, Howard University’s student newspaper speaking out against then Howard University president James Nabrit’s plan to turn the university’s student body sixty percent white by 1970. As a result Hare was fired in 1967. In 1968, Hare joined the faculty of San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University) and became the program coordinator of the school's Black Studies program, the first in the United States. This has earned him the title "father of Black Studies" by scholars. As the program coordinator, Hare created the term "ethnic studies" to replace the more pejorative "minority studies." Hare battled with the college administration and left the college just a year later, in 1969. Needing a way to express his thoughts and the ideas of others, he founded the scholarly periodical, The Black Scholar: A Journal of Black Studies and Research in 1969. He left the journal in 1975 to work as a clinical psychologist in community health programs, hospitals, and in private practice. In 1979, he co-founded the Black Think Tank with his wife, Julia Hare. The Black Think Tank addresses the problems and concerns that plague the African American community.

Throughout his career, Hare has served as a consultant and given numerous lectures and presentations. Furthermore, he has written several books and articles including The Black Anglo Saxons, The Endangered Black Family, Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood: The Passage, Crisis in Black Sexual Politics, and The Miseducation of the Black Child. He has been the recipient of many awards such as the Joseph Hines Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the National Association of Black Sociologists, Scholar of the Year Award from the Association of African Historians, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame. Hare was also awarded the National Council for Black Studies National Award for his distinguished scholarly contributions to Black Studies. Throughout his life, his love of boxing and learning has helped him to fight for social justice.

Nathan Hare was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on April 5, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.039

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/5/2004

Last Name

Hare

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

University of Chicago

Langston University

California School of Professional Psychology

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Nathan

Birth City, State, Country

Slick

HM ID

HAR07

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Oklahoma

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/9/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Greens, Ice Cream

Short Description

Psychologist and african american studies professor Nathan Hare (1933 - ) became the coordinator of the nation’s first Black Studies Program at San Francisco State College, worked as a clinical psychologist in community health programs, hospitals, and private practice, and established The Black Think Tank, which focuses on issues affecting the black family. He is the author of many books and articles and is the recipient of numerous awards.

Employment

San Francisco State College

Black Scholar

Black Think Tank

Howard University

Favorite Color

Light Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nathan Hare's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nathan Hare lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nathan Hare describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nathan Hare talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nathan Hare shares a story about his maternal great-grandmother's enslavement

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nathan Hare shares his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nathan Hare talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nathan Hare describes his family life as a child in Slick, Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nathan Hare describes growing up on a farm in Slick, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nathan Hare describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up on a farm in Slick, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nathan Hare talks about elementary school in Slick, Oklahoma and junior high school in San Diego, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nathan Hare describes winning six Oklahoma statewide academic prizes

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nathan Hare describes tense race relations in Slick, Oklahoma in the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nathan Hare talks about going to Landmark Baptist Church and being baptized

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nathan Hare talks about his teachers at L'Ouverture High School in Slick, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nathan Hare talks about living in San Diego, California for two years during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nathan Hare talks about pursing his interest in boxing

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nathan Hare describes his experience at Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nathan Hare describes the recognition he received from boxing and the deterioration of Landmark Baptist Church in Slick, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nathan Hare talks about joining the U.S. Army Reserves

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nathan Hare talks about being awarded the Danforth Fellowship and going to the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nathan Hare talks about his influential teachers in college and graduate school, and taking a teaching position at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nathan Hare describes his dissertations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nathan Hare talks about teaching at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nathan Hare describes being offered the position as coordinator of the black studies department at San Francisco State University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nathan Hare talks about teaching Stokely Carmichael and Claude Brown

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nathan Hare talks about the end of his boxing career and the inspiration behind his book, 'The Black Anglo-Saxons'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nathan Hare describes his concern about the race issue before the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nathan Hare talks about his introduction to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nathan Hare describes his involvement in the Black Power Committee at Howard University and putting up bail for H. Rap Brown

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nathan Hare talks about the formation of the Department of Black Studies at San Francisco State University in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nathan Hare describes the pedagogy of the Department of Black Studies at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nathan Hare talks about hiring professors for the Department of Black Studies at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nathan Hare talks about creating the journal, The Black Scholar

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nathan Hare talks about getting his Ph.D. in Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco, California

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nathan Hare talks about the Black Think Tank

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nathan Hare describes being a boxer and an academic

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nathan Hare talks about his regrets in life

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nathan Hare describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nathan Hare describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nathan Hare narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

4$8

DATitle
Nathan Hare describes tense race relations in Slick, Oklahoma in the 1940s
Nathan Hare talks about teaching Stokely Carmichael and Claude Brown
Transcript
Could you tell us about, in Slick [Oklahoma], what--was it an all-black town or was it (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No.$$--mixed or what was the relationship between the, the races there?$$Slick was a town, predominantly white town as was the area surrounding it 'cause Slick was not just a town it was surrounding area of all the people related psychologically, sociologically to each other, and so I was in that and they were--we were set apart, we knew each other, everybody knew each other, at least you didn't know them personally, you knew who they were and you spoke to everybody even if you passing them from behind as strangers, white and black strangers would, would speak, unlike here in the, in the, in the city. And so, we--was very much separated it was like a terror 'cause they might lynch you at any moment at the drop of the hat, we, we knew people that had been lynched and we knew, heard of it and Oklahoma had a high lynching rate because of the combined both the West and South and, and so, we had that there. We couldn't ride in the front of the bus, we couldn't sit and eat in a restaurant and all that, and we had separate schools and, and separate buses and when we were walking to school if our bus was broken down, which usually was the case on a rainy day, then the white bus would pass by and they--they would try to--the driver tried deliberately to run in the water skid water on us kids as we pass by and the white kids would, would lean out and say--call us niggers and we'd call them peckerwoods and things like that, yell at them and stuff, and back and forth and it would keep on going. And, and so that was the kind of way it, it was. If we pass one we'd, we'd usually get in some kind of fight, it was almost like a, a kid play too-fun thing too because you got a great joy out of doing battle with them a little bit (laughter). But, but so it was, it was like that and when I was ten years old, my mother [Tishia Lee Davis]--well there was a bus getting ready to go between Slick and Bristow [Oklahoma], it went for maybe a year or two and my mother said, "Well this is going to--it's going to be segregated we're not going to be able to ride up front and that's not right," and, but, but--by chance she sent us to--with a bucket of cream you could skim it off the milk over time and then sold the cream in the town ten miles away and we'd get things to buy stuff with, money, and we'd take ten cents apiece to go to what they called nigger heaven, which was the balcony of the movie theater that they allowed black people in. They had two theaters and one they allowed black people in, sit upstairs, sometimes we'd throw paper down on the white peoples head (laughter) but anyway-who did it, or where. But any case we went to nigger heaven and so--but I sat on--at, at the front seat when I got on the bus 'cause mother said it was going to be wrong, but a driver pleaded me for thirty minutes, I'd say, to, to move and I wouldn't move, my little brother [Carl Hare] was scared he was leaning over my shoulder because he was scared. The ruckus was going on, he kept pleading but I rode. He would not--I would not leave and he would not bother me, and then mother come 'round with a shotgun and so therefore we ro- I did this, you're talking about '43 [1943], this is thirteen years before Montgomery [Bus Boycott] and so I always had the policy after that to not go past rear of center. I would stand in the front rather than go to the back to sit and I did it all over and I tell, you know, anecdotes about it (laughter), but certainly--I was in Oklahoma not Georgia, maybe Georgia I wouldn't be here to tell the story but that's the way it was down there then.$You had some very interesting students at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.]--$$Yeah.$$--Stokely Carmichael [Kwame Ture] and some other people, could you--$$Claude Brown is the most known--$$Claude Brown, right.$$--he wrote, 'Manchild in the Promised Land' and he was taking my class then, yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right, right, and you said the people that were in SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee]?$$Yeah.$$So, this was the beginning of black power, and the beginning of the student--$$Well, before, yeah--$$--student movement (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) before black power but, but it was, it was about two or three years later--$$Right.$$--they, they formed black power. Things were turning blacker you might say, and blacks were getting the consciousness out of the Berkley [University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California]--University of Cal, Berkley free speech movement, in fact, Art Goldberg had come to Howard, he looked me up in the (unclear), he in there to go to law school, he said, "I heard you're one of the good guys and I'm going here now to law school at Howard 'cause I couldn't go to Berkley," I said, "If I couldn't go to Berkley, I was gonna bring Berkley here to Howard" (laughter) and so he came here and so I had to--all those people were there. And then things were getting a little more concerned, people were perking their ears about what I--they always started perking their ears up about what I was saying, not about race alone, but about other things in general. 'Cause I took the same approach to everything, not just race and so, he--they would be in this--I remember Stokely Carmichael saying to somebody that my notion of a closed ranks approach, modeled after [W.E.B.] Du Bois, but a turning within yourself to beef up yourself and then to confront the, the wall of segregation was the best thing going. But, but first time I ever saw Stokely was when I came there and he was standing--somebody had taken me by the NAG office, Nonviolent Action Group, which was the name of Friends of SNCC because the administration would not let them have a Friends of SNCC group there on campus, but they had to call it Nonviolent Action Group and so a young fellow sat down with us saying--he said, "I don't believe in this nonviolence, but there's nothing else going on so I guess, I'm fooling with that now," and that was Stokely Carmichael I learned later. And so they were there and he was a very good student. I knew he would be outstanding no matter what he had gone into, he could have been a very great mainstream senator or whatever. He--when--I never was surprised, people said were you surprised at, at Stokely Carmichael, I said no, he was two, two years overdue. In fact when Claude Brown, who was a surprise, Claude Brown was always telling me he was writing his autobiography, he had written an article in, in det- detalis- Dissent magazine, called 'Growing Up in Harlem.' He's writing this book on growing up in Harlem, which later on became 'Manchild in the Promised Land,' but I said, "Yeah, yeah, well, I'll leave him alone," because I really didn't think he was really doing anything and so he came out with this book and it became a best seller. And then Stokely Carmichael came by, and he came by my class when he was visiting here, he wasn't famous then and he said--I said, "What do you think of--," going down the hall later, I said, "What do you think about Claude Brown writing that book?" And so he said, "Well, if Claude Brown can do it, anybody can do it." It become so famous I said--writing that book--become so famous he said, "If Claude Brown can do it anybody can do it." Within a year he came back there and we invited him to speak and you couldn't get into the whole building because of, because the people, he had become famous with the black power. But I knew he was going to be outstanding. He was the best student I'd ever had.$$I see.$$He was, he was unusual.