Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, a psychiatrist best known for her 1991 book on racism and society entitled The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors, died Saturday in Washington, D.C., at age 80.
Welsing graduated from Antioch College and Howard University’s medical school. She began her climb to prominence with her 1970 essay entitled The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy) that posited that the status of Whites as a global minority stokes a fear that leads to oppression of others.
Her theories and findings related to her Afrocentric approach to psychiatry garnered both praise and controversy. In The Isis Papers, she explained homosexuality as “a strategy for destroying Black people that must be countered.” She was a staunch advocate of strong families and role models in the Black community.
Welsing, who also had been an assistant professor of pediatrics at Howard University, worked for 25 years as a staff physician for the Department of Human Services in Washington and served as a clinical director of two schools there for emotionally troubled youth.