Black Bourgeoisie

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Simon and Schuster, 1957 - Social Science - 264 pages
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A classic analysis of the Black middle class studies its origin and development, accentuating its behavior, attitudes, and values during the 1940s and 1950s.

When it was first published in 1957, E. Franklin Frazier’s Black Bourgeoisie was simultaneously reviled and revered—revered for its skillful dissection of one of America’s most complex communities, reviled for daring to cast a critical eye on a section of black society that had achieved the trappings of the white, bourgeois ideal.

The author traces the evolution of this enigmatic class from the segregated South to the post-war boom in the integrated North, showing how, along the road to what seemed like prosperity and progress, middle-class blacks actually lost their roots to the traditional black world while never achieving acknowledgment from the white sector. The result, concluded Frazier, is an anomalous bourgeois class with no identity, built on self-sustaining myths of black business and society, silently undermined by a collective, debilitating inferiority complex.
 

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These words that were penned over 50 years ago are still pervasive in 2008.

Contents

PREFACE
1
INTRODUCTION
9
Part IThe World of Reality
25
THE ECONOMIC BASIS OF MIDDLECLASS STATUS
43
EDUCATION OF THE BLACK BOURGEOISIE
60
POWER AND POLITICAL ORIENTATION
86
BREAK WITH THE TRADITIONAL BACKGROUND
112
INFERIORITY COMPLEX AND QUEST FOR STATUS
130
A SOCIAL MYTH
153
THE NEGRO PRESS AND WISHFULFILLMENT
174
STATUS WITHOUT SUBSTANCE
195
BEHIND THE MASKS
213
conclusion
233
notes
239
index of names
259
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About the author (1957)

E. Franklin Frazier, who died in May 1962, was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Sociology at Howard University. Black Bourgeoisie earned him the coveted MacIver Award from the American Sociological Association. He was also President of the American Sociological Association and of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Race Relations.