Highway in Durham named for John Hope Franklin

Historians in the News
tags: Duke University, John Hope Franklin

Starting Monday, people who pass through Durham on Interstate 85 will be driving on a highway named in honor of a man who wrote his seminal work on African-American history in the city and returned after a career of ground-breaking scholarship to write and eventually teach at Duke University.

The John Hope Franklin Highway will be dedicated at a ceremony at the Hayti Heritage Center at 1 p.m. Monday. Members of Franklin’s family will unveil a highway sign that will designate a section of I-85 between Cole Mill Road and U.S. 70 Bypass.

Among those expected to speak at the ceremony are Gov. Roy Cooper and Everett Ward, the president of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, where Franklin taught for a few years starting in 1939.

Franklin was 94 when he died of congestive heart failure at Duke University Medical Center in 2009. His death ended a career that began with a bachelor’s in history from Fisk University and graduate degrees from Harvard and blossomed with the publication in 1947 of “From Slavery to Freedom,” which quickly became the preeminent history of African-Americans.

The year it was published, Franklin left the faculty at N.C. Central University to teach at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he helped lawyers for the NAACP team led by Thurgood Marshall develop the case that would lead to the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared laws creating segregated schools unconstitutional. ...

Read entire article at The News & Observer

comments powered by Disqus