ⓘ Lafargue Clinic

                                     

ⓘ Lafargue Clinic

The Lafargue Mental Health Clinic, more commonly known as the Lafargue Clinic, was a mental health clinic that operated in Harlem, New York, from 1946 until 1958. The clinic was named for French Marxist physician Paul Lafargue and conceived by German-American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, who recognized the dire state of mental health services for blacks in New York. With the backing of black intellectuals Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison, as well as members of the church and community, the clinic operated out of the parish house basement of St. Philips Episcopal Church and was among the first to provide low-cost psychiatric health services to the poor, especially for poor blacks who either could not afford treatment at New York hospitals or were victimized by racism from doctors and other hospital staff. The staff consisted entirely of volunteers, and Wertham and Hilde Mosse were the clinics lead doctors.

Even though the clinic was only 12 years old, albert and mosses experience Lafargue was given in the court decision on integration of schools in Wilmington, Delaware, and later in brown V. Board of education, which ruled that separate black and white schools unconstitutional. Albert will use examples from his time in the clinic to support his later argument that comic books cause juvenile delinquency, as evidenced in his 1954 work seduction of the innocent.