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Krystal Frazier, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Director of Africana Studies Program

Teaching Fields


Research Interests

Dr. Frazier's research interests are in the social and cultural history of African American communities and its economic and political implications. Her dissertation research argued that distinctive patterns of forming and maintaining kinship ties among black families shaped the ways in which African Americans organized themselves throughout the twentieth century. Scholars recognize that wide family systems were important to surviving slavery, but have paid little attention to the role of extra-nuclear family groups beyond the antebellum period. Her project identified African Americans’ extended and adoptive kin networks as important resources for combating racism, poverty, and familial dispersion from emancipation to the turn of the twenty-first century.

In addition to research on African American kin networks, she is also interested in recent shifts in the racial and national identity of traditional African Americans, whom she identifies as the descendants of the Atlantic Slave Trade to the part of North America that became the United States. She wants to investigate African American identity shifts in relation to accelerating populations of black African, Caribbean, and South American immigrants, increasing numbers of African American people who have children with non-black partners, and rising sentiments of patriotism in light of perceived national security threats. Her research will also historicize the increasingly popular identification of “multi-racial” among people who would have historically identified as “black” and the implications of such identifications in post-Obama America. Such an exploration will address the overarching meanings of race and racial construction and the probable expansion of traditional racial categories in the United States.

Courses Offered


“Till They Come Back Home: African American Migrants’ Families and Politicizing the Till Generation” in Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement, eds. John Dittmer and Danielle McGuire (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 2011), 137-62.

Editorial Assistant, The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Volume IV: When Clowns Make Laws for Queens, 1880-1887, ed. Ann D. Gordon. Rutgers University Press, 2006.