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William E. Cross Jr., Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus, University of Denver
Specialist in Africana Studies and Black Psychology

“How the Slave Community Was Able to Socialize Infants and Children.”

 Friday, Feb. 7

Within black psychology, Cross is somewhat controversial because like A. J. Franklin, A. Wade Boykin and the late Harriette P. McAdoo, his work freely and effectively synthesizes elements of black psychology with mainstream psychology. One of the earliest topics addressed by the field of black psychology was the analysis of black identity change linked to the core dynamics of the Black Power Movement and the creation of black psychology in particular. Over the years, Cross’s scholarship helped debunk the Negro self-hatred thesis and its corollary: the concept of the pathological black family. The Cross Model on the Psychology of Nigrescence and his text, Shades of Black (1991) became most influential in the field.  According to Google Scholar, Shades has been referenced nearly 3,000 times. The Cross Racial Identity Scale (CRIS) was derived from the Nigrescence Theory. His most recent work describes how black identity is enacted in everyday life and, in a work currently under review, he and his associates take on the way the psychology of individual difference influences black identity development. 

Cross retired from the academy in June of 2018 and currently lives close to his daughter, Tuere Binta Cross, who works as a therapist at a nearby mental health agency. He is currently writing a book covering his 40-year career in psychology and Africana studies.

William Cross Jr. Lecture Series

Hollie L. Jones, Ph.D.

Dean of Academic Affairs, City University of New York
Social Psychologist and Black Identity Researcher

“This is Us: Intersectionality, Culture and the Legacy of Black Identity Theory.”

Saturday, Feb. 8

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Hollie L. Jones, Ph.D., developed an interest in psychology as a result of wanting to understand the social group dynamics in her neighborhood and city, and how these dynamics directly impacted her family members. Her exposure to Nigrescence theory and the book Shades of Black at the undergraduate level led her to pursue a doctorate in psychology.  As a doctoral student, she developed a nuanced perspective of black identity development and intersectionality with a focus on ethnically diverse black women. William E. Cross chaired her dissertation. She later joined the psychology department at Medgar Evers College, the City University of New York in 1997 where she worked her way through the professoriate and served as deputy chairperson and chairperson. As faculty, Jones taught a variety of undergraduate psychology courses including Adolescent Development, Qualitative Research Methods, Psychology of the African Diaspora and Experimental Psychology. In 2017, she became dean of academic affairs at Medgar Evers College. 

In addition to serving as dean of academic affairs, Jones is also a social psychologist and black identity researcher with over 20 years of research and applied experience in the public and private sector. She is passionate about understanding black identity development, intersectionality and health disparities. She has authored journal articles and several book chapters on these topics. Hollie lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and daughter.

#CCEC20  |  February 7–8, 2020  |  Savannah, GA


Last updated: 11/22/2019