About Us


The struggles, social conditions of Black Americans, professional experiences, and the barriers faced by Black psychiatrists provided the thrust for our creation.

Since the graduation of Solomon Carter Fuller from Boston University School of Medicine in 1897, and for the next eight decades, Black psychiatrists have persistently struggled to impact and effect change in American psychiatry. In the 1960s, it became increasingly evident that the traditional government and professional organizations were not responsive to the ever-evolving priorities of the African American community and their mental health needs.

Officially founded in 1969 after meetings began in the mid to late 1960s, the Founders of the BPA understood the importance of moving progressively to ensure the emotional and psychological development of African Americans. To accomplish this goal, the Founders sought to provide tools for African Americans to cope and succeed in the face of persistent racism.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in response to the demands of the BPA, established the NIMH Center for Minority Group Mental Health Programs. The American Psychiatric Association (APA), the major psychiatric professional organization, was tenaciously challenged by the BPA for its apathy and neglect of psychiatric and social ills confronting African Americans.

​The direction of the BPA is dictated by the growth of our organization and the present dilemmas facing African Americans. The initial and continuing philosophy is to effect change in American psychiatry for the betterment of African Americans and the country as a whole.

Our Mission

The mission of The Black Psychiatrists of America is to address issues affecting the mental health of African people worldwide with special emphasis on persons of African descent in the Americas and to provide a forum for continuing education for those who provide psychiatric care to these underserved population groups.

Former BPA Presidents

Historical Figures

Dr. Patricia A. Newton, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.

Dr. Newton was the CEO & Medical Director, a past President) of the Black Psychiatrists of America (BPA), and served on its Council of Elders. Dr. Newton is a past Distinguished Andrea Delgado, M.D. Memorial Lecturer for the Black Psychiatrists of America, and has been the recipient of both BPA’s Isaac Slaughter, M.D. Memorial Award for “Outstanding Leadership” and the Lloyd Elam, M.D., Memorial Award for “Lifetime Achievement.” She is also the conference coordinator for the BPA serving in that capacity for over a decade. Dr. Newton is a psychiatrist and behavioral scientist specialist who is currently the President and Medical Director of Newton & Associates and President of Newton-Thoth, Inc. International Meeting Planners. Many more accolades could be listed, though none can possibly capture the dynamism nor the breadth of influence within the psychiatric community and in the lives of innumerable mentees, colleagues and friends. Her legacy of scholarship and service continue to inspire and energize the achievement of BPA's mission.

Dr. Jeanne Spurlock

Dr. Jeanne Spurlock, psychiatrist, educator and trail-blazer.

Dr. Alyce Gullatee

Dr. Alyce Gullatee, Renowned Psychiatry Professor at Howard University and devoted civil rights activist.

Dr. Frances Cress-Welsing

Dr. Frances Cress-Welsing, Professor of Psychiatry at Howard University, expounded on controversial issues of racism and white supremecy well before America was willing to hear her message.

Drs. Price M. Cobbs and William H. Grier

Drs. Price M. Cobbs and William H. Grier, the authors of the 1968 book “Black Rage.”

Chester Pierce, MD

Chester Pierce, MD - Harvard Foundation Portrait, Harvard Professor of Psychiatry

James Comer MD, MPH

James Comer, MD, MPH - Founder of Comer School Development Program, Yale University.

Solomon Carter Fuller MD

Solomon Carter Fuller, MD - America's First Black Psychiatrist