The collection is comprised of one folder of correspondence and 21 boxes of materials relating to the research conducted between 1957 and 1963 for Leo Kuper's study of An African Bourgeoisie (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965).
Kuper, assisted by two research assistants at the University of Natal, Anthony Ngubo and Bernard Magubane, conducted interviews with more than one hundred members of South Africa's black professional class, including doctors, lawyers, civil servants, teachers, ministers, nurses, and businessmen, whom Kuper identifies as “traders.”
These interviews, and the more general reading notes and newspaper files, comprise the basic document collection upon which Kuper's sociological analysis of South Africa's black middle class rested. The transcriptions of the interviews suggest that Kuper was primarily interested in the issues of mobility, freedom, and perceived social status and the relation of these concepts to South Africa's apartheid racial system. These interviews comprise the most valuable component of the collection.