Featured Psychologist: Carlton Goodlett, PhD

Carlton Goodlett, PhD Carlton Goodlett, PhD, was a scholar, writer, activist and even a politician during his lifetime. As an undergraduate at Howard University, he was the editor of the student newspaper and elected president of the student body, laying the foundations of his future successes. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, he became one of the first African-Americans to receive a doctorate in child psychology from the University of California at Berkeley at the age of 23. Upon graduating he took a position as a professor at West Virginia State College. With the energy and curiosity of a young man, Dr. Goodlett endeavored into another journey, leading him to earn a medical degree in pediatrics from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. Goodlett had earned an MD and PhD, before his 30th birthday.

A year after medical school graduation, he established a general practice in San Francisco. As one of only three African-American doctors in San Francisco, he was exposed first hand to the injustices and the bitter realities of racism. Goodlett was limited to only seeing his patients at his office, because African-American doctors were not permitted to examine their patients in a public or private hospital setting. After accumulating profit from his private practice Goodlett purchased two weekly handouts, The Report and The Sun. As a scholar and good businessman, he transformed the weekly handouts, into The Sun Reporter, becoming the publisher for  the Reporter Publishing Company, whose nine weeklies produce an estimated circulation of 160,000 copies. 

By 1966, Goodlett had served as a professor, medical doctor and independent business owner. As a publisher he would use his newspaper as his platform to push for civil rights, social conditions and better quality of life for African-Americans. Under his leadership, African-American doctors won the right to see patients at all public hospitals in San Francisco. The Sun Reporter gave a voice to the voiceless in the Bay Area and became one of the best-known Black weekly newspapers, whose motto was, “That no good cause shall lack a champion, evil shall not thrive unopposed.”

As a champion for equally opportunities for African-Americans in his community, Goodlett sought after another important goal in his life, which was to be an activist for African-Americans, which eventually lead him to run for the governor of California. Though it was an unsuccessful run for governorship, Goodlett continued to make a lasting imprint on his community, his country, and to the world. He participated in a disarmament conference in Moscow and his participation in the World Peace Council led him to speak out globally about his opposition to nuclear weapons In 1970, he was recognized on a global platform when the World Peace Conference awarded him the Lenin Peace Medal.


Carlton Goodlett, 82, Doctor and a Campaigning Publisher. (1997, February 2). The New York Times. Retrieved from:

Simmonds, Y.J. (2011, April 23).  Carlton Goodlett.  The Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved from: http://www.lasentinel.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2466:carlton-goodlett&catid=79&Itemid=169