A retired Washington University professor, Robert L. Williams in 1973 coined the term “Ebonics” which came into use as controversy grew around the linguistic status of Black language. He has been a steadfast critic of racial and cultural inequities in standardized IQ testing of African American schoolchildren.
Developer of the Black Intelligence Test of Cultural Homogeneity he published more than 60 professional articles and two books including Ebonics: theTrue Language of Black Folks and The Collective Black Mind: Toward an Afrocentric Theory of the Black Personality.
Dr. Williams has been a guest on several national television programs relating to IQ testing, including CBS's "IQ Myth" with Dan Rather, Prime Time Saturday Night, The Phil Donohue Show and The Montel Williams Show. Most recently he appeared on Black Entertainment Television (BET) and NBC News to discuss the controversial topic "EBONICS".. His works were, also, used for one of the "Good Times" TV programs.
Dr. Williams has been employed as Staff Psychologist, Arkansas State Hospital (Little Rock, Arkansas); Chief Psychologist, VA Hospital (St. Louis, Missouri) Director of a Hospital Improvement Project (Spokane, Washington) and Consultant for the National Institute of Mental Health (San Francisco, California). From 1970 -1992 he was employed as Full Professor of Psychology and African and African –American Studies at Washington University. He developed the Black Studies at Washington University and served as its first Director. He retired from Washington University and is now Professor Emeritus. Dr. Williams returned to the academy (2001-2004) as The Distinguished Visiting Professor of Black Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia and served as the University’s Interim Director of Black Studies for the academic year 2002-2003.
Robert L. Williams earned a BA degree (cum laude and Distinction in Field) from Philander Smith College (Little Rock, Arkansas); M.Ed. from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan); Ph.D. in 1961 from Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri) with a major in Clinical Psychology.