Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller is celebrated as the first Black psychiatrist in America and a founding father of the APA. He was born in Liberia in 1872 and helped to pioneer the field of degenerative brain diseases, most notably working with Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1904 at the Royal Psychiatric Hospital in Munich. He went on to teach at the Boston University Medical School and, upon the onset of blindness, retired into private practice in the Boston area.
"This remarkable man, on his own initiative, achieved excellence in psychiatry and neurology as a clinician, scientist, educator, and scholar at a time when opportunities and recognition...were not available to him
because of his color."
- Charles A. Pinderhughes, MD, Boston psychiatrist (1919-1998)
Since 1975, the APA has honored Black pioneers providing significant benefit to the quality of life for Black people with the Solomon Carter Fuller Award. Nominees for the Fuller Award must be a Black citizen and provide the following materials for review:
- Nomination letter summarizing the nominees accomplishments
- One-page biographical sketch of the nominee
- Curriculum Vitae of nominee
Nominations are reviewed by a selection work group of the APA Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities composed of a representative of the Council and the officers of the APA Caucus of Black Psychiatrists. Recipients are recognized during an award lecture at the APA Annual Meeting or Institute on Psychiatric Services and presented with a plaque and honorarium.
Staff Contact: Alison Bondurant (703-907-8639)
- Past Solomon Carter Fuller Award Recipients
- Psychiatric News: "Norris Recounts Struggles of Black Psychiatrists"
- Psychiatric News: "Solomon Carter Fuller: First Black Psychiatrist"
- TIME: Unsung Heroes, "Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller, Mind Mender"