The children of “dirty Prods” and “filthy Fenians” carry messages, set fires, use guns and knives. But sometimes they speak with the startlingly premature wisdom of those who have seen people fight and die for what they believe.
They have more—more toys, more clothes, more lessons, more privacy, more travel—but are wealthy children really any different from their less fortunate counterparts? Yes, they are, says a noted child psychiatrist, who for the past twenty years has studied American children of every social class. Here is his report on the inner life of the privileged young.
To some they’re “the Mexicans,” to others they’re “the pickers”; they often call themselves “Chicanes,” and they are also Texans mostly poor and abused ones.
How do ghetto Negroes look at the white world outside their decaying neighborhoods? And how do they explain or respond to the spontaneous violence and destructiveness of slum rioting? A partial answer comes from Dr. Robert Coles.
by ROBERT COLES, M.D. “You’d think Negroes were the only people in America that have a tough time,”a resentful thirty-year-old Northern mother complained to Dr. Coles, a psychiatrist in the Harvard University Health Services, in the course of his research into the day-to-day realities of race relations. He found little ground for the smugness Northerners frequently display when they talk of integration and the South. To accompany this broad look at workings of prejudice in the big cities of the North, the ATLANTIC presents on page 58 a profile of a white Northern politician in action.
Warmth and understanding frequently do not combine with clinical objectivity in the study of human relations, but they come to a rare blending in the works of Dr. Coles, a young research psychiatrist in the Harvard University Health Services, who for several years has been studying the effects of desegregation in the South. This essay will form a part of his Atlantic-Little, Brown book, COURAGE AND FEAR IN THE SOUTH, to be published in 1967.
DR. ROBERT COLESis a child psychiatrist whose major interest is social psychiatry. For several years he studied Negroes and whites under the crises of desegregation in the South, and more recently, the adjustment of migrant farm families along the Eastern seaboard. He is a research psychiatrist to the Harvard University Health Services and a consultant to the Southern Regional Council.
How do the pressures of desegregation affect schoolchildren? DR. ROBERT COLES, a child psychiatrist now living in Vinings, Georgia, has spent two years getting to know Southern children, their parents, and teachers during the initial desegregation of schools in the Deep South. He has talked with both white and Negro children of different ages, backgrounds, and opinions. His study has been sponsored by the Southern Regional Council in Atlanta.
A graduate of Harvard and Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, DR. ROBERT COLES look his psychiatric residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital. He has recently completed a period of special training in child psychiatry at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, in the midst of which he was called for two years’ service in the Air Force as chief of a neuropsychiatric center in Biloxi, Mississippi.