Frances Cress Welsing

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Frances Cress Welsing
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing receives Community Award at National Black LUV Festival in WDC on 21 September 2008.jpg
Welsing receives Community Award at National Black LUV Festival on September 21, 2008
Born Frances Luella Cress
(1935-03-18)March 18, 1935
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died January 2, 2016(2016-01-02) (aged 80)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Residence Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Antioch College (B.S.),
Howard University (M.D.)
Occupation Physician
Known for The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors (1991)

Frances Cress Welsing (born Frances Luella Cress; March 18, 1935 – January 2, 2016) was an American Afrocentrist[1] psychiatrist. Her 1970 essay, The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy),[2] offered her interpretation on the origins of what she described as white supremacy culture.

She was the author of The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors (1991).[3] Welsing caused controversy after she said that homosexuality among African-Americans was a ploy by white males to decrease the black population.[4]

Early life[edit]

Welsing was born Frances Luella Cress in Chicago on March 18, 1935.[5] Her father, Henry N. Cress, was a physician, and her mother, Ida Mae Griffen, was a teacher.[5] In 1957, she earned a B.S. degree at Antioch College and in 1962 received an M.D. at Howard University. In the 1960s, Welsing moved to Washington, D.C. and worked at many hospitals, especially children's hospitals.[5]


In The Isis Papers, she described white people as the genetically defective descendants of albino mutants. She wrote that due to this "defective" mutation, they may have been forcibly expelled from Africa, among other possibilities.[6] Racism, in the views of Welsing, is a conspiracy "to ensure white genetic survival". She attributed AIDS and addiction to crack cocaine and other substances to "chemical and biological warfare" by whites.[6]


By December 30, 2015, Welsing suffered two strokes and was placed in critical care at a Washington, D.C.-area hospital.[7] She died on January 2, 2016, at the age of 80.[7][8]

Film appearances[edit]



  1. ^ Anne Pollock (2012). Medicating Race: Heart Disease and Durable Preoccupations with Difference. Duke University Press. p. 89. 
  2. ^ Welsing, Frances Cress (May 1, 1974). "The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation". The Black Scholar. 5 (8): 32–40. doi:10.1080/00064246.1974.11431416. ISSN 0006-4246. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  3. ^ Jaynes, Gerald D. (2005). Encyclopedia of African American society, Volume 1. Sage. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7619-2764-8. 
  4. ^ Lehr, Valerie (1999). Queer Family Values: Debunking the Myth of the Nuclear Family. Temple University Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-1566396844. 
  5. ^ a b c "Welsing, Frances Cress". Contemporary Black Biography. Gale. 1994. Retrieved January 2, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Ortiz de Montellano, Bernard R. (1993). "Melanin, afrocentricity, and pseudoscience". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 36 (S17): 33–58. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330360604. 
  7. ^ a b "Educator Frances Cress Welsing Dies at 80". Rolling Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Dr. Frances Cress Welsing Dead at 80". The Archived from the original on January 4, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2016. 
  9. ^ "500 Years Later" (PDF). African Retrieved January 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ "'Hidden Colors' Filmmaker Tariq Nasheed: 'Eric Garner Was Lynched'". Huffington Retrieved January 2, 2016. 

External links[edit]