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The Biography of Alberta Banner Turner

Alberta Banner Turner, not only an activist in the African American Movement, but she is also the 3rd African American Woman to earn a doctorate in Psychology in Ohio State University. Born on March 17, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, Alberta Banner Turner was the first member to earn a highschool degree in her family from her public school. Later on after graduating, she attended Ohio State University. She earned her Bachelor degree in 1929, her Masters degree in 1931, and her Doctorate degree in 1935. She was also the first African American female to her a PhD from Ohio State University.

In her education, Turner has many degrees. For example, when she completed an undergraduate degree in home economics. She was offered a position as the head of the Department of Home Economics at Wilberforce University in Xenia, Ohio, in which she accepted. While being head of the department, she was completing a degree in education form Ohio State University. Not only did she take the course during the summer, she also had experimental psychologist, Samuel Renshaw supervising her work.

She later on continued to earn a Doctorate degree. Not only was she the Head of the Home Economics Department, she also was a professor of psychology and home economics in Jefferson City, Missouri, South University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and in Bennett College in North Carolina. During all these times, she was lecturing on consumer issues in summer.

During her stay in Missouri, she was the first black woman to be awarded a fellowship to Stephens College for studying consumer education in the school’s institute. During an interview in 1999, she stated that she would rather be knows as an “ advocate for equal rights” instead of being known as just a scholar. During her high school days, Alberta Banner Turner fought for her rights. For example, when she was 16, she attended a whites only prom.

Later on in 1938, Turner and a couple of her friends went to a whites only theater in Ohio. They were refused entry. Because of this, Turner and a colleague went to file a lawsuit against the theater’s manager where they later won in court. Not only did she fought for equal rights for the black community, but she also fought for the right to education for African American communities. “She conducted consumer education courses for soldiers and their wives on such an issue on black investment markets, credit unions, and insurance” as stated by Kelli Vaughn in the American Psychological Association.

Alberta Banner Turner married John G. Turner and on 1942, she left back to Columbus, Ohio on maternity leave. With John G. Turner, Alberta Banner Turner has a son and a daughter. After having her child, Mrs. Turner took on a position as a clinician with the Ohio Bureau of Juvenile Research. She remained as a clinician for the remainder of her career. Mrs. Turner received a promotion in her career as the Director of Research in the Central Administrative Office of the Ohio Youth Commission.

During this, Mrs. Turner also helped as a psychologist at the Marysville Reformatory for Women. She also taught some classes in her alma mater in Ohio State University. She was also active in African American social organisations, for example, she was the fourth president of the national Jack and Jill of America Foundation in 1953. Mrs. Alberta Banner Turner retired in 1971. Even though Mrs. Turner was retired, she was still active. During 1972-1976, she served on the Ohio Criminal Justice Supervisory Commission. She also served as a cosmetics director at Mary Kay.

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