Dr. Price M. Cobbs, psychiatrist who co-authored ‘Black Rage’

Herb Boyd | 7/19/2018, 11:30 a.m.
There is no need for years to pass to enshrine Dr. Price M. Cobbs, who died June 25 in Philadelphia, ...
Dr. Price M. Cobbs Contributed

“The culture of slavery was never undone from either master or slave,” the authors wrote. “The civilization that tolerated slavery dropped its slave holding cloak, but the inner feelings remained. The ‘peculiar institution’ continues to hold its evil influence over the nation. The practice of slavery stopped over a hundred years ago, but the minds of our citizens have never been freed.”

“Black Rage” was an immediate classic, best-seller and a prominent book in classroom curriculums across the nation. Cobbs and Grier were in demand on talk shows and as panelists at conferences all over the world. Cobbs’ renown expanded even more after the publication of his next book with Grier, “The Jesus Bag,” which troubled the nation’s status quo and discomforted Christians in the same way “Black Rage” dealt with the legacy of oppression.

In 2005, he published his autobiography, “My American Life: From Rage to Entitlement.” During promotion of the book, Cobbs appeared on NPR, where he was interviewed by Ed Gordon. Gordon asked him to elaborate on what he meant by entitlement and whether Black Americans are their own worst enemy. “I don’t think that we are our own worst enemies,” he answered. “I do think that there are ways in today’s world we have to help people become more introspective and reflective about what they can do for themselves and help them develop the skills and the psychological moxie to do it.”

He added, “I think if we talk about a group that now is responsible for its own issues, to me that does get very close to blaming the victim. What we have to do is to help people realize: How do I let go of vestiges of victimhood? How do I get in touch with those things that—How do I claim my entitlement? And not things that people owe me, but how do I claim my psychological entitlements that say, ‘I’m entitled to do whatever I can; I’m entitled to grow, to soar.’ Those are the things that I would like. But no, I would not say we are our own worst enemy.”

With Judith Turnock, his last book was “Cracking the Corporate Code: From Survival to Mastery,” which was basically their take on the nature of power. He served as the president and CEO of Pacific Management Systems of San Francisco, where he applied the principles of enthnotherapy to his work as a management consultant.