Thursday, March 26, 2009

John Hope Franklin 1915-2009

American history lost one of its most brilliant scholars yesterday with the death of John Hope Franklin. Best known for his work From Slavery to Freedom, Franklin served as president of Phi Beta Kappa, the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association and the Southern Historical Association. In 1995, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Franklin on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans, and on November 15, 2006, Franklin was announced as the third recipient of the John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity.

John Hope Franklin was the author of over 20 books and was considered the leading African American historian. Not only did he chronicle history, he was involved in making history, having cowritten the brief the NAACP submitted to the Supreme Court in Brown v Board of Education. This led to the 1954 United States Supreme Court decision ending the legal segregation of black and white children in public schools.

We have several books by John Hope Franklin in our collection, including From Slavery to Freedom [E185.F825], first published in 1947 and continually updated. Franklin's scholarship has had a tremendous impact on the fields of African American history and American history in general, and his work will continue to inform many generations to come.

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