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date: 25 February 2021

Frazier, Edward Franklinfree

  • Wilma Peebles-WilkinsWilma Peebles-WilkinsBoston University, Emerita


Edward Franklin Frazier (1894–1962) was a research sociologist and educator. Noted for his work on the Black family and the Black middle class, he was head of the Department of Sociology at Howard University for 24 years.

E. Franklin Frazier is noted for his studies of the Black family and the Black middle class. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Frazier received a bachelor of arts degree from Howard University in 1916. He studied sociology at Clark University where he earned a master's degree in 1920 and a doctorate in 1931. In 1922 Frazier became director of the Atlanta University School of Social Work. He remained in this position for five years before leaving Atlanta as a result of controversy created in the White community by his article in Forum Magazine on racial prejudice. For three years Frazier served as a research sociologist at Fisk University. In 1934 he became head of the Department of Sociology at Howard University and remained in this position until his retirement in 1959. Prior to the establishment of a separate School of Social Work at Howard, Frazier directed a social work program there for eight years. Frazier's career as an educator included precollegiate teaching as well as national and international university teaching. As a sociologist Frazier contributed widely to the knowledge of Black families through his research studies and publications. His works include The Negro Family in Chicago (1932), The Negro Family in the United States (1939), Black Bourgeoisie (1955), and Race and Culture Contacts in the Modern World (1957). See also R. W. Logan and M. Winston, Dictionary of American Negro Biography (1982).