Bobby Eugene Wright (March 1, 1934, Alabama – April 6, 1982, Chicago) was an American clinical psychologist, scholar, educator, political activist and humanitarian.
He received his BSc in Education and MSc in Counseling from Chicago State University and his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Chicago in 1972. At the point of his untimely death he was President-Elect of the Association of Black Psychologists.
During the mid 1960s he worked as a truant officer in the Chicago Public School system, and led a successful challenge to racist hiring procedures for black teachers. His political work has been credited with helping lay foundations that later enabled the election of Chicago’s first African-American mayor, Harold Washington in 1983.
Two of his scholarly works have been described as highly influential by the 2013 National Conference on African/Black Psychology: The Psychopathic Racial Personality (1974, republished in 1984 and other years as one in a series of essays), and Mentacide: The Ultimate Threat to Black Survival (1979).
He has been classed in the ‘radical school’ of Black psychology of the time – those who developed a self-consciously independent framework in opposition to the dominant worldview stemming from europeans, many of whom were influenced by Frantz Fanon; by contrast with traditionalists who worked with the American Psychological Society of the time and critiqued but did not correct, or reformists who were partially independent and appealed for change to both white and black cultures.
He also wrote The Black Child: A Destiny in Jeopardy.
He contributed to political processes concerning the continent of Africa and Pan-Africanism.
The Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Mental Health Centre in Chicago was so renamed in his honor.
Overall his work emphasized the need to recognize psychological racial warfare, and for Africans to define themselves in their terms, while analyzing the psychology of White supremacy not only of its victims, and to develop a durable social theory and associated institutions to change the politics of mental health.