Kobi Kazembe Kambon (a.k.a. Joseph A. Baldwin; November 29, 1943 – December 31, 2018) was an educator and psychologist whose theory and research has been particularly influential in areas relating to African (Black) Psychology, cultural survival in the face of cultural oppression, and mental health. A former National President of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), Kambon has published well over 60 scholarly articles, and has written five books, including two textbooks that are frequently used in Psychology and Black Studies courses across the country.
In many of his published works, Kambon takes an Afrocentric approach to the study of African Americans, suggesting that while Black personalities are biogenetic in origin, they are still subject to environmental variables that, when alien (not African), can serve to inhibit and interfere with normal development of the Black personality. He has developed various tools, including the African Self-Consciousness Scale (ASCS), The Worldviews Scale (WVS), and the Cultural Misorientation Scale (CMS), in order to measure personality, mental health, and social variables that relate to and may characterize the Black experience in the context of Western culture. Kambon retired from his position as Department chair and professor in the Psychology Department at Florida A&M University in 2014 following a successful 30-year career at the institution.
Kobi Kazembe Kambon (a.k.a. Joseph A. Baldwin) was born in Jasper, Alabama, November 29, 1943. His mother, Mable E. Guyton- Baldwin was a schoolteacher and community-civic leader who died in 1996 at the age of 92. His father, Andrew Baldwin Sr., was first a coal miner and then a Baptist minister who died in 1969 at the age of 76. Kambon is the 9th of 10 children, with four sisters and five brothers.
He attended Walker County Training School for junior high school and high school, and attended Wilson Jr. College in Chicago. Kambon was briefly drafted in the army from 1965 to 1967.
Kambon later transferred to DePaul University in Chicago in 1969, where he received his bachelor’s degree in psychology. He then went on to acquire a Master of Arts degree in personality-abnormal psychology from Roosevelt University (1971), and a Ph.D. in personality and social psychology from the University of Colorado in Boulder (1975).
Kambon is a retired professor of psychology from the Psychology Department at Florida A&M University. During his 30-year career at Florida A&M, Kambon held the role of Department Chair from 1985 to 1997, and also served as Coordinator of the Community Psychology Graduate Program. Kambon’s emphasis on Africentric views shifted the Psychology Department as a whole towards a more African centered perspective, and Kambon is credited with inspiring a dramatic increase in Psychology graduates of African descent from Florida A&M, making it one of the highest producing departments in the country in that respect.
Kambon has written, developed and contributed to well over 60 scholarly publications, five of which are books. He is the author of two text books, titled African/Black Psychology in the American Context (1998) and The African Personality in America (1992), that have been used and praised by scholars and students at institutions across the country. Kambon has also developed various instruments and measures to assess Black personality and mental health variables.