In Memoriam: Joseph L. White, 1932-2017

Joseph L. White, the founder of the Association of Black Psychologists and a long-time professor at the University of California, Irvine, died on November 21, after suffering a heart attack while traveling to visit family members for Thanksgiving. He was 84 years old.

A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, White grew up in Minneapolis. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at San Francisco State University. When, in 1962, he was awarded a doctorate in clinical psychology at the Michigan State University, he was one of only five African Americans who held a Ph.D. in the field.

Dr. White joined the faculty at California State University, Long Beach in 1962 and taught there for six years.  In 1968, he founded the Association of Black Psychologists.

Professor White joined the faculty at the University of California, Irvine in 1969. In 1984, he authored the book The Psychology of Blacks. Dr. Wright was named director of the African American studies program at the University of California, Irvine in 1991. He retired from teaching in 1994.

Related Articles


  1. I knew Dr. White. He was very gentle and supportive. He helped me when I was a graduate student at another institution, he did so because that was his way. He was a great mentor and an extremely kind man. He added so much to the discipline, he shall be missed by me and others.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs