Conversations on Psychoanalysis and Race: Part Three


Michael Slevin and Beverly J. Stoute

Michael Slevin, M.S.W., is in private practice in Baltimore and an emergency psychiatric evaluator of patients in crisis in the Emergency Department of Sinai Hospital. He is co-chair of the Social Issues Department Task Force on Income Inequality and Class.


Michael Slevin

Beverly J. Stoute, M.D., child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Atlanta, Georgia; training and supervising analyst, Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute; associate child supervising analyst, New Orleans-Birmingham Psychoanalytic Center; graduate of The New York Psychoanalytic Institute.

At its origins in the early 20th century, psychoanalysis was racialized. The cultural footprint of race on American psychoanalysis is large. Of theory and practice, the literature is thin and sparse. And it is often ignoble, enmeshed as it is with the racial history of the 20th century in America.

Dorothy Holmes begins this last part of the three-part series with a concluding call to arms: “The Fierce Urgency of Now.” She directly and forcefully addresses what, perhaps, has at heart motivated us, the co-editors of this series: At this historical moment in our country and in the development of psychoanalysis, we have an ethical responsibility to heal the wound of racism that afflicts our institutes and psychoanalysis itself. If we do so, with dedication and thoughtful depth, psychoanalysis has the potential to better heal our patients and contribute to the healing of our country.

Beverly Stoute, co-editor of this eight-article series, “Conversations on Race,” has written an elegant and sophisticated overview of that history in a literature review that is yet personal.

Anton Hart then brings to the fore a contemporary perspective on this foundational issue of race that made this series necessary and important: the “othering” of African-American people deeply embedded in our cultural unconscious.

We are deeply appreciative of those who have given so deeply of themselves to write for “Conversations on Race,” and we thank those who have read their contributions. We hope we have contributed in some modest way to the dialogue leading to action that Dorothy Holmes so eloquently challenges us to join.