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The Pioneering Critique of the Black Misleadership Class: E. Franklin Frazier’s The Black Bourgeoisie

By: 
Dr. Matthew Quest

Published 60 years ago, Frazier’s The Black Bourgeoisie (1957)analyzed the social and political behavior of the African American middle class social strata that aspired to purportedly benevolently rule their own community while pursuing their own personal advancement. Frazier saw the Black bourgeoisie as both an evolving middle class in historical materialist terms – that is, in the context of unfolding economic history creating modes of production and social classes within the Black community before the emergence of the modern Civil Rights movement. Frazier also explored this bourgeoisie as an evolving ruling class of the Black community that was subordinated by racism and fascism but wished to be independent and govern themselves.