Amos N. Wilson
Amos Nelson Wilson

(1941-02-23)February 23, 1941[3] or 1940[1]
DiedJanuary 14, 1995(1995-01-14) (aged 53)[4][3][1]
Alma mater
Scientific career
FieldsPsychology, Sociology, Black Studies[1][2]
InstitutionsCUNY, New York Institute of Technology[1][2]

Amos Nelson Wilson (February 23, 1941[3] (or 1940[1]) — January 14, 1995[4][3]) was an African-American theoretical psychologist, social theorist, Pan-African thinker, scholar, author and a professor of psychology at the City University of New York.[3][1][2][5]

Early life and education

Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1941[1] Wilson completed his undergraduate degree at the Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1964, master's degree at The New School of Social Research, and attained a PhD degree from Fordham University in New York.[1][2] Wilson worked as a psychologist, social caseworker, supervising probation officer and as a training administrator in the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice. As an academic, Wilson also taught at City University of New York from 1981 to 1986 and at the College of New Rochelle from 1987 to 1995. He was also an adjunct instructor for several colleges in the New York City area, including New York Institute of Technology. On January 14, 1995, Wilson died from stroke complications at a local hospital in Brooklyn, NY. He was 53. His Survivors include a son, Raheem. [6][3][1][2][5]

Views on power and racism

According to, "Wilson believed that the vast power differentials between Africans and non-Africans was the major social problem of the 21st century. He believed these power differentials, and not simply racist attitudes, was chiefly responsible for the existence of racism, and the continuing domination of people of African descent across the globe—white people exercise racism because they have the power to do so."[7]

As a scholar of Africana studies, Wilson felt that the social, political and economic problems that Blacks faced, the world over, were unlike those of other ethnic groups; and thus, he argued that the concept of "equal education" ought to be abandoned in favor of a philosophy and approach appropriate to their own needs. Wilson argued that the function of education and intelligence was to solve the problems particular to a people and nation, and to secure that people and nation's biological survival. Any philosophy of education or approach which failed to do so was inadequate.[8][9][10]

The idea that we must necessarily arrive at a point greater than that reached by our ancestors could possibly be an illusion. The idea that somehow according to some great universal principle we are going to be in a better condition than our ancestors is an illusion which often results from not studying history and recognizing that progressions and regressions occur; that integrations and disintegrations occur in history.[11]

—Amos Wilson, The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness [in] Cole (2000)[11]

Wilson further argued that the mythological notion of progress to which many Blacks subscribe, was a false one; that integration could only occur and persist, as a social-economic reality, so long as the U.S. and global economies continued to expand.[12] If such an economic situation were ever to reverse, or change for the worse, then the consequences which would follow could end up resulting in increased racial conflict; thus he urged Blacks to consider disintegration as a realistic possibility — to prepare for all hypothetical scenarios — with the understanding that integration was not guaranteed to last forever.

Wilson also believed that racism was a structurally and institutionally driven phenomenon derived from the inequities of power relations between groups, and could persist even if and when more overt expressions of it were no longer present.[13] Racism, then, could only be neutralized by transforming society (structurally) and the system of power relations.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Jackson-Lowman, H., and Jamison, D.F., Honoring the scholarship of Amos Wilson (2013), The Journal of Pan African Studies, 6(2), 4-8 [in] Kiara Thorp and Andrea D. Lewis. "Amos Wilson 1940 - 1995" [in] Lewis, Andrea D., Taylor, Nicole A., Unsung Legacies of Educators and Events in African American Education (Chapter 12), Springer (2019), p. 75-79, ISBN 9783319901282. For year of birth (1940), see page 78:
    "Dr. Amos N. Wilson was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1940 to Lugenia and Oscar Wilson (Jackson-Lowman & Jamison, 2013). Wilson attended Morehouse College and furthered his education at the New School for Social Research and Fordham University..."[1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Review of Honoring the Scholarship of Amos Wilson by Jackson-Lowman, Huberta; Jamison, DeReef F. [in] The Journal of Pan African Studies [2] Archived 2019-03-30 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d e f Atlanta Black Star, 5 Signs Showing You May Suffer From 'Mental Slavery' by Dr. Amos Wilson, by A Moore (March 21, 2014) [3] (Retrieved 29 March 2019)
  4. ^ a b Liburd, Sean, Awaken the Mind: Communion with Sean Liburd, Xlibris Corporation (2008), p. 31, ISBN 9781453501948 [4] (Retrieved 29 March 2019)
  5. ^ a b Our Time Press, Dr. Amos Wilson: Why We Do The Things We Do, February 26, 2016 [5]
  6. ^ "Amos Wilson Conference Description" (PDF). Journal of Pan African Studies. 6 (2): 1. July 2013.
  7. ^ The African American Literature Book Club, Amos N. Wilson (bio) [6] (Retrieved 30 March 2019)
  8. ^ Howard, Kamm (The Amos N. Wilson Institute), Awakening the Natural Genius in Black Children Workshop, The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.6, no.2 (July 2013), pp. 83-86, 88 (PDF, pp. 1-4, 6)
  9. ^ Wilson, Amos N., Awakening the natural genius in Black children., Afrikan World InfoSystems (1992), pp. 1-2, 6, ISBN 9781879164017
  10. ^ Amos N. Wilson, "African Centered Consciousness Vs. New World Order: Garveyism in the Age of Globalism" (1999) [in] Howard, Kamm (The Amos N. Wilson Institute), Awakening the Natural Genius in Black Children Workshop, The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.6, no.2 (July 2013), pp. 86-90 (PDF, pp. 4-8) [7] (Retrieved 30 March 2018)
  11. ^ a b Amos Wilson, "The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness: Eurocentric History, Psychiatry, and the Politics of White Supremacy", Afrikan World InfoSystems (1993), ISBN 9781879164024 [in] Cole, Harriette, How to Be: A Guide to Contemporary Living for African Americans, Simon & Schuster (2000), p.481, ISBN 9780684863085
  12. ^ Wilson, Amos N. (1993). The falsification of Afrikan consciousness : Eurocentric history, psychiatry, and the politics of white supremacy (1st ed.). New York: Afrikan World InfoSystems. ISBN 1-879164-02-7. OCLC 29859652.
  13. ^ Onitaset (2012-06-11). "Dr. Amos Wilson's Last Interview (1995)". African Blood Siblings. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  14. ^ a b c Editors: Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck; Esposito, John L.; Muslims on the Americanization Path?, Oxford University Press (2000), p. 255, ISBN 9780198030928 [8] (Retrieved 29 March 2019)
  15. ^ a b Liburd, Sean, Awaken the Mind: Communion with Sean Liburd, Xlibris Corporation (2008), p. 168, ISBN 9781453501948