Dr. Umar Johnson, a Philly native and self-professed black nationalist who commands a massive following on social media, declared victory Monday after a hearing in Harrisburg over his credentials as a psychologist.
And Johnson, who identifies himself as the “Prince of Pan-Afrikanism,” denied the charges of misrepresentation he was accused of by the state’s board of psychology: “I never claimed to be a practicing licensed psychologist,” he said.
The state board had specifically accused Johnson of misrepresenting himself as a psychologist who is licensed and offers counseling sessions. They threatened him with a $10,000 fine per infraction. But he claims he has never presented himself as such a psychologist. The board’s final decision will be made at a later date.
Johnson didn’t tone down his fiery rhetoric after the hearing. He asked who referred his case to the state and demanded to know his accuser.
“I believe [African-Americans] as well as Caucasians are involved in this situation,” he said, “but I also believe that the state board of psychology of Pennsylvania is jealous of the fact that an unlicensed, certified school psychologist with a doctorate in clinical psychology can have the type of international reputation that they do not have.”
On Johnson’s website, he describes himself as “a certified school psychologist who practices privately throughout Pennsylvania and lectures throughout the country.” But in addition to working with youths, Johnson has been fundraising for a dream academy for African-American children. His fundraising has been criticized for a lack of transparency, with the fate of more than half a million dollars he raised through online campaigns remaining unknown.
His credentials working for the School District of Philadelphia have been verified, as well as his 2012 PhD in clinical psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, but he referred to himself as “doctor” for years before that.
The state did not respond to requests for comment on Johnson’s hearing.
See Johnson speak to supporters after the hearing today below: