In Memory of John Hope Franklin (1915-2009)

Historians in the News

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Articles by John Hope Franklin

OAH Appearance 2007

Note: Video quality is poor.

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James C. Cobb - 3/28/2009

Like so many others, I'm deeply saddened by John Hope's death. My tardy but heartfelt remembrance can be found at http://cobbloviate.com.

Walt McElligott - 3/27/2009

My condolences to his family as another important man of letters answers the final call of history.

Lana Ruegamer - 3/27/2009

Professor Franklin visited Indiana University for a few days in the mid-1980s as a Patten Lecturer and made himself available to students. Although I was only a part-time visiting assistant professor, he kindly accepted my invitation to address the large H102 class I was teaching, two or three hundred undergraduates, many of them trying to satisfy a requirement in what they hoped would be an easy way and all but one of them white, as I recall. For them the subject of race in American history was a difficult-to-grasp and somewhat depressing story about somebody else's hard times; one student a few years earlier had thought the black codes after the Civil War had constrained black people only by outlawing interracial dating and denying them access to restaurants. Franklin transformed the subject of race in the United States in the twentieth century into a riveting personal narrative that was both down-to-earth and eloquent. He offered them the gift of his witness, his learning, his dignity, and his righteous indignation at bigotry and injustice. For many of the small-town Hoosier students present he was the first highly-educated black man they had encountered face-to-face, and I speculated from their expressions that meeting him had prompted a minor quake in their perceptual landscapes.
I drove him to and from class in my rather old, cramped, and shabby little Renault, in which the impeccable Franklin looked incongruous. I remember that I had left home without my purse and had to borrow fifteen cents from him to pay the fee to park. He was not only a great man but a very nice one.

AndrewMc - 3/26/2009

My memory of him is here: