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May 1971

Black Is Beautiful

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY
From the Adult Psychiatric Outpatient Division, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(5):479-484. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750110091015

Recognizing the complex social and psychological forces involved in certain current social problems, we comment on some of the intrapsychic factors involved in sexual interest between races, specifically the preference of a white woman for a black partner. Through the use of a case example we discuss the concept "black is beautiful." This is described as an elaborate disguise of the patient's incestuous interest in her father as well as an ego-syntonic means of expressing both libidinal and aggressive impulses. Her degradation of the man is concealed by her elevation of him to a special position of beauty. We discuss the polarities of black and white in relationship to concepts of beauty and attitudes toward good and evil.