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The Legacy of John Hope Franklin

John Hope Franklin

John Hope Franklin (1915-2009) died last week, at the age of 94. He was one of America’s preeminent scholars of African-American history. He was also active in the Civil Rights movement, lending his expertise to Thurgood Marshall and his lawyers as they battled school segregation in the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education case of 1954, and marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1965 trek from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. In 1995, he was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

A search of the University of Vermont Libraries catalog reveals over twenty works by or about Franklin.

Among them are:

From Slavery to Freedom book cover From slavery to freedom : a history of African Americans (8th ed.) by John Hope Franklin and Alfred A. Moss, Jr.
“Since its original publication in 1947, From Slavery to Freedom has stood as the definitive history of African Americans. Coauthors John Hope Franklin and Alfred A. Moss, Jr., give us a vividly detailed account of the journey of African Americans from their origins in the civilizations of Africa, through their years of slavery in the New World, to the successful struggle for freedom and its aftermath in the West Indies, Latin America, and the United States.” -Publishers information

Mirror to America book cover Mirror to America : the autobiography of John Hope Franklin by John Hope Franklin
“At the age of ninety, Franklin recounts the story of his rise from a childhood in Oklahoma to a career as a pioneering African-American historian, whose work on the history of segregation formed part of the N.A.A.C.P.’s brief in Brown v. Board of Education. The journey is shadowed at every stage by episodes of casual bigotry and worse. He was threatened by a would-be lynch mob while surveying the economic conditions of black cotton farmers in Depression-era Mississippi; as he corrected the galleys of his groundbreaking work “From Slavery to Freedom,” in 1947, he learned that his older brother, shattered by the experience of racism in the segregated military, “had either fallen or jumped” from a hotel window; and, after he hosted a dinner on the eve of receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a white woman gave him a numbered ticket and asked him to retrieve her coat.” –New Yorker

First Person Singular video cover First person singular [videorecording] : John Hope Franklin, produced by Dick Young Productions Ltd. for Lives and Legacies Films, Inc.
“The PBS video First Person Singular: John Hope Franklin explores in fascinating detail the life and work of distinguished African American historian, writer, teacher, and activist John Hope Franklin.” -Publishers information

Facts of Reconstruction book cover The Facts of reconstruction : essays in honor of John Hope Franklin edited by Eric Anderson & Alfred A. Moss, Jr. [Preview this book]
“Thirty years after the publication of John Hope Franklin’s influential interpretative essay Reconstruction: After the Civil War, ten distinguished scholars have contributed to a new appraisal of Reconstruction scholarship. Recognizing Professor Franklin’s major contributions to the study of the Reconstruction era, their work of analysis and review has been dedicated to him. Representing a variety of perspectives, the authors have sought to follow John Hope Franklin’s admonition that Reconstruction should not be used as ‘a mirror of ourselves.’ If they have succeeded, this book in honor of a profound scholar and inspiring teacher will provoke new discussion about ‘the facts of Reconstruction.’ ” -Publishers information

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