Remembering E. Franklin Frazier, The First Black President of the American Sociological Association


by Veracity Savant

November 13, 2023

He was a trailblazer in the field of social sciences!

E. Franklin Frazier was an esteemed sociologist who made groundbreaking contributions and paved the way for progress. Making history as the first Black president of the American Sociological Association (ASA), his achievements have left a lasting mark on the field. Today, we honor his legacy and celebrate his profound impact on sociology and equity in the field.

Born on September 24, 1894, in Baltimore, Maryland, Edward Franklin Frazier rose to prominence as a leading sociologist, exploring the complexities of race, class, and social inequality in America, Britannica reports. His seminal work, “The Negro Family in the United States,” published in 1939, challenged prevailing notions about African American families and laid the foundation for critical discussions on race and society.


Frazier’s groundbreaking research and scholarship earned him numerous accolades and respect within the academic community. In 1948, he became the first African American to serve as the president of the ASA, a notable milestone that highlighted his remarkable contributions and leadership, ASA.org reports.

As president of the ASA, Frazier played a pivotal role in shaping the direction of sociological research and promoting diversity within the field. He advocated for the inclusion of marginalized voices and emphasized the importance of studying race and social issues with depth and nuance. His presidency was a catalyst for change, inspiring future generations of sociologists to address the complexities of racial dynamics and social inequality.

Beyond his groundbreaking research and leadership, Frazier’s influence extended to education and public service. He held faculty positions at esteemed institutions such as Howard University and the University of Chicago, where he mentored aspiring sociologists and encouraged critical thinking. Frazier’s dedication to education and his commitment to social justice made him an influential figure in academia and the civil rights movement.


Today, E. Franklin Frazier’s legacy continues to inspire sociologists and scholars worldwide. His work has paved the way for a more comprehensive understanding of race and society, challenging long-standing prejudices and fostering meaningful dialogue. Frazier’s contributions remind us of the importance of studying social structures and systems to address inequality and create a more just society.

As we celebrate the achievements of E. Franklin Frazier, we are reminded of the transformative power of knowledge, research, and advocacy. His legacy serves as a message of hope, inspiring future generations to strive for academic excellence, challenge societal norms, and champion inclusion within the field of sociology and beyond.

Cover photo: Remembering E. Franklin Frazier, The First Black President of the American Sociological Association/Photo by Scurlock Studio/Archives Center at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History


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