Edward Franklin Frazier (a.k.a. E. Franklin Frazier) was an American sociologist whose work on African American social structure provided insights into many of the problems affecting the black community.
Frazier taught a number of subjects at various schools, including math at the Tuskegee Institute for a year. Seeking to continue his own education, Frazier went to Clark University, once again on a scholarship, and earned a master's degree in sociology in 1920. Seven years later, while employed as a sociology instructor at Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia, he published his first major work in his field, the essay "The Pathology of Race and Prejudice." In it, Frazier argued that racism was a form of insanity, a thesis that created a great deal of controversy and which forced him to resign his post at the college.
Frazier moved from Atlanta to Chicago where he received a fellowship from the University of Chicago's sociology department. His studies at Chicago culminated in his earning a Ph.D. in 1931. Frazier spent a few few years at Fisk University, followed by a move to Howard University in Washington, DC in 1934.
Throughout his career, E. Franklin Frazier continued to conduct research in the field. In 1935 and 1936, he was brought in by New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia to study the social and economic conditions of Harlem, and in 1939, published one of his best-known works, The Negro Family in the United States. This book provided a comprehensive look at African American family life from the days of slavery to modern times. It was one of the first studies on African Americans by an African American. Soon after its publication, Frazier traveled to Brazil and the West Indies on a Guggenheim fellowship, examining and writing about the plight of blacks throughout the world.
Frazier is also remembered for the 1949 work The Negro in the United States and the 1957 book Black Bourgeoisie, which was about the African American middle class. Black Bourgeoisie proved to be his last major work.
“When the lunatic is met with ideas incompatible with his delusion he distorts facts by rationalization to preserve the inner consistency of his delusions.”
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