Arthur F. Raper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arthur Franklin Raper (8 November 1899 – 10 August 1979) was an American sociologist.[1][2][3] He is best known for his research on lynching, sharecropping, and rural development.

Life and career[edit]

Raper grew up in Davidson County, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[1] He received an M.A. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.[1] In 1925, he started his PhD at Chapel Hill, under the direction of Howard W. Odum, and completed it in 1931.[1][4]

In 1926, he worked for the Commission on Interracial Cooperation with Will W. Alexander in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] He later taught at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.[1] In 1927 he produced a report on the conditions of African Americans in Tampa, Florida with Benjamin Elijah Mays.[5]

In 1939, he resigned after a furor over taking his students to visit the Tuskegee Institute.[1] He studied and wrote about sharecropping in Macon County and Greene County.[1][6] He exposed sharecropping as exploitative.[1][2] His papers are in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Library; four of his books were reviewed by The New York Times.

A collection of Raper's materials are housed at the Special Collections Research Center at Fenwick Library at George Mason University.[7]


  • Preface to Peasantry (University of North Carolina Press, 1936); excerpts; Online free to borrow
  • The Tragedy of Lynching. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, Social Studies Series, presented by the Southern Commission on the Study of Lynching. 1933. pp. 319–355. Retrieved June 28, 2021 – via HathiTrust. LCCN 33-9073 (1933), LCCN 69-14943 (1969); LCCN 72-90191 (1969), LCCN 69-16568 (1960), OCLC 2018078 (all editions), 1081157881, 1081157881, 1068181841.
  • Sharecroppers All (University of North Carolina Press, 1941, co-authored with Ira De Augustine Reid)
  • Tenants of the Almighty (University of North Carolina Press, 1943)
  • Raper, Arthur F.; Han-sheng Chuan; Shao-hsing Chen (1954). Urban and Industrial Taiwan―Crowded and Resourceful. Taipei: Good Earth Press. OCLC 1686127.
  • Rural Development in Action (Cornell University Press, 1970)
  • "Some Effects of Land Reform in 13 Japanese Villages," Journal of Farm Economics (Vol. 33, No. 2, May 1951)
  • "Old Conflicts in the New South," by Ira De Augustine Reid and Arthur Raper, Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 1940.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Fincher, Matthew L. (5 August 2013). "Arthur F. Raper (1899-1979)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b Fincher, Matthew L. (November 19, 2002). "Arthur F. Raper (1899-1979)".
  3. ^ "Heirs of Power". Reuters. 2023.
  4. ^ "Log In · Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History".
  5. ^ McGrew, J.H. (1927). "A Study of Negro Life in Tampa, Typescript, 1927". Florida Memory. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  6. ^ Giesen, James C. (28 August 2019). "Sharecropping". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Guide to the Arthur Raper Papers". George Mason University Libraries. Retrieved 24 November 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mazzari, Louis. 2003. "Arthur Raper and Documentary Realism in Greene County, Georgia." Georgia Historical Quarterly 87, no. 3/4: 389-407.
  • Southern Modernist: Arthur Raper from the New Deal to the Cold War, by Louis Mazzari (Louisiana State University Press, 2006)
  • The War Within: From Victorian to Modernist Thought in the South, 1919-1945, by Daniel Joseph Singal (University of North Carolina Press, 1982)
  • Rural Worlds Lost: The American South, 1920-1960, by Jack Temple Kirby (Louisiana State University Press, 1987)
  • Speak Now Against The Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South by John Egerton (University of North Carolina Press, 1994)
  • "Arthur Raper," by Clifford M. Kuhn, in Encyclopedia of the Great Depression, edited by Robert S. Mcllvaine (Thomson-Gale, 2004)
  • "Arthur Raper." The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Volume 20: Social Class, edited by Larry J. Griffin, et al.

External links[edit]