John Hope Franklin, repairing history: a conversation: whose story is it?Just two days before my conversation with the preeminent American historian John Hope Franklin Noun 1. John Hope Franklin - United States historian noted for studies of Black American history (born in 1915)
Franklin , he had just turned 90. "You caught me just in time," he says with a soft chuckle from his office at Duke University, where he is the lames B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History. "I'm going to be on the road soon with all the celebrations planned for my ninetieth birthday."
John Hope Franklin was born on January 2, 1915. Of all his 90th birthday celebrations across the country, the largest was held at Duke University. According to Dr. Franklin, he begged them not to make such a fuss, but the university threw a weeklong birthday bash in January featuring the Fisk Fisk , James 1834-1872.
American railroad financier and speculator who attempted in 1869 to corner the gold market with Jay Gould, leading to Black Friday, a day of nationwide financial panic. Jubilee Singers, panels, luncheons and exhibitions at the John Hope Franklin Center.
This fall, Farrar, Straus & Giroux Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publishing company in New York City noted for its literary excellence. It was founded in 1945 by John Farrar and Roger Straus as Farrar, Straus & Co. will release his long-anticipated autobiography, Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin.
Among his other involvements, Franklin serves on the board of the United States National Slavery Museum This article or section contains information about a planned museum.
It is likely to contain information of a speculative nature and the content may change as the construction and/or completion of the museum approaches. , being planned for Fredericksburg, Virginia.
The numerous honors and accolades he has earned and continues to receive are well deserved. There is not room in this article to list all of his many accomplishments, which include being the author of the definitive history of African Americans, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes (Alfred A. Knopf), originally published in 1947.
Fear of History
In the not-so-distant past, the best way for a writer to clear a room full of white people was to suggest to them that problems such as crime, broken families, poor education, lack of ambition, and general antisocial antisocial /an·ti·so·cial/ (-so´sh'l)
1. denoting behavior that violates the rights of others, societal mores, or the law.
2. denoting the specific personality traits seen in antisocial personality disorder. behavior--that many blacks in this country are plagued with--have deep roots in American history. Why were these otherwise fine, intelligent, educated people in such denial of the obvious?
"Well," Professor Franklin answers, "Americans like to think that they have the most wonderful history in the world. They promote it and are very careful about what goes into that history, especially what's taught in the schools. They don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. much real history. They know fairy tales. So I don't see them running from history. They run to the defense of history and just want to make sure it's the right history."
For example, Dr. Franklin deals with the experiments in slave breeding in the antebellum South, foreshadowing fore·shad·ow
tr.v. fore·shad·owed, fore·shad·ow·ing, fore·shad·ows
To present an indication or a suggestion of beforehand; presage.
fore·shad the Nazis, but this is never mentioned in most American history books.
"If it is mentioned at all, it's mentioned as a good thing," he points out. "Again, they don't dodge the subject; they just want to make sure it's told the way they want it to be told."
The Race Commission
So what we have is an African American narrative and a European American narrative. Then, the key question is, has this narrative gotten closer, and will it in time merge into a single American narrative?
"Not as much as I would like to see," he answers. "Public policy and human relationships are based on their [Euro-Americans] notions of history. I still exist to serve them. I was standing not so long ago in a hotel lobby, and this white man walked up to me and said, 'Here's my keys, go get my car." I looked at him and said, 'I don't know where your damn car is.'"
We shared a loud laugh. Then, as we talked, his voice grew stronger, his ideas well focused. There was little hint that I was talking to man who had just turned 90. This also turned us to the subject of his recent stint as chairman of the advisory board of former President Bill Clinton's Special Presidential Commission for One America: The President's Initiative on Race. Did anything of real value come out of that?
"There were basically two general positions taken: The race problem has been solved and we don't need that kind of commission anymore. The other was there was no need to have one because we can't do anything about it anyway," he says. "The mass media concluded that the Commission was an exercise in nothing. The New York Times felt that way. The Chicago Tribune felt that way. And all the newspapers in between felt that way."
So was he disappointed at how it turned out?
"No, not really," Dr. Franklin says. "There were several hundred new community organizations founded for the purpose of getting blacks and whites together to do something about the race problem. We also published a report in which we presented new ways at looking at the problem. The press ignored our report even though I saw them present when we presented it to the President. People are still asking me if the Commission still exists, and when are we going to make a report. That's what's discouraging."
If we could ever cobble together a common history, wouldn't this go a long way in healing the divide The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter.
Please help [ improve the introduction] to meet Wikipedia's layout standards. You can discuss the issue on the talk page. between the races?
Dr. Franklin comments, "That's what I have been working for. But it's difficult. Let me give you an example. In 1966, the state of California opened up its bids and invited authors to submit manuscripts dealing with the history of the United States “American history” redirects here. For the history of the continents, see History of the Americas.
The United States of America is located in the middle of the North American continent, with Canada to the north and the United Mexican States to the south. . Well, three of us got together and said we were going to write a history book for the eighth grade. We didn't have a book, so we wouldn't be revising but starting from scratch.
The Land of the Free
"The upshot is that the board adopted the book, but when you adopt a book in California it means that you are putting it in every library in the state, where the citizens can inspect it before it goes into the classroom.
"So people soon started to grumble. The title of the book was The Land of the Free. We talked about slavery and the way it was, among other things. That caused a firestorm in the state of California. They organized Land of the Free clubs all over the state with the purpose of destroying that book, and keeping it from being used in classrooms. There were parents who wouldn't let their kids into the same room with the book. They ultimately won the day, and got the book out of the school system."
So where do we stand as a people? One group sees a proud, noble history populated by wise, God-fearing leaders. The other group sees a bunch of brutal, murderous thugs posing as aristocrats who used the three-legged stool of slavery, genocide and exploitation of immigrant labor to build this country. So what are the settlers suppose to do, hate George Washington, Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Jefferson?
"It's not a question of hating anybody," says Dr. Franklin. "It's just a matter of recognizing what they were. But just keep in mind, the system wants to stay the way it is. It does not want to be attacked or molested mo·lest
tr.v. mo·lest·ed, mo·lest·ing, mo·lests
1. To disturb, interfere with, or annoy.
2. To subject to unwanted or improper sexual activity. in any way. So a few of us are being let in, but that doesn't mean that much has changed."
So that means that the narrative will remain European American and the alternative African American narrative will be, by and large, kept away from the public because it is a subversive, unusable history?
"That right. Because it speaks about the system, it addresses the system itself."
Books by John Hope Franklin
African Americans and the Living Constitution, with Genna Rae McNeil Smithsonian Books, April 1995 $17.95, ISBN ISBN
International Standard Book Number
ISBN International Standard Book Number
ISBN n abbr (= International Standard Book Number) → ISBN m 1-560-98471-6
The Color Line: Legacy for the Twenty-First Century, University of Missouri Press The University of Missouri Press, founded in 1958, is a university press that is part of the University of Missouri System. External link
, February 1993, $14.95, ISBN 0-826-20894-0
The Emancipation Proclamation (reprint) Harlan Davidson, January 1995 $13.95, ISBN 0-882-95907-7
The Free Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860, University of North Carolina Press The University of North Carolina Press (or UNC Press), founded in 1922, is a university press that is part of the University of North Carolina. External link
From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, Alfred A. Knopf (8th ed.) April 2000, $49.95, ISBN 0-375-40671-9
George Washington Williams George Washington Williams was born in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania on October 16, 1849 to Thomas and Ellen Rouse Williams. He was the eldest of four children; his brothers were John, Thomas and Harry. : A Biography Duke University Press (reprint) September 1998, $22.95 ISBN 0-822-32164-5
An Illustrated History of Black Americans. with the editors of Time-Life Little, Brown and Company, June 1970 ISBN 0-316-84596-5
In Search of The Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South, with Loren Schweninger, Oxford University Press September 2005, $20, ISBN 0-195-16087-8
The Militant South, 1800-1861, University of Illinois Press The University of Illinois Press (UIP), is a major American university press and part of the University of Illinois. Overview
According to the UIP's website: (reprint), April 2002 $18.95, ISBN 0-252-07069-0
Race and History: Selected Essays, 1938-1988, Louisiana State University Press This article needs sources or references that appear in reliable, third-party publications. Alone, primary sources and sources affiliated with the subject of this article are not sufficient for an accurate encyclopedia article. (reprint), February 1992 $20.95, ISBN 0-807-11764-1
Reconstruction After the Civil War, University of Chicago Press The University of Chicago Press is the largest university press in the United States. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, dozens of academic journals, including (2nd ed.), March 1995, $16, ISBN 0-226-26079-8
Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation, with Loren Schweninger Oxford University Press, July 2000 $17.95, ISBN 0-195-08449-7
A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Antebellum North, Louisiana State University Press, December 1979 $24.95, ISBN 0-807-10351-9
Black Issues Award
Black Issues in Higher Education, our sister publication, presented its second annual John Hope Franklin Awards for Excellence in Higher Education on May 21 .This year's recipients were Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole (born October 19, 1936) is an American academic. Cole was the first African American female president of Spelman College from 1987- 1997. She was president of Bennett College from 2002-2007. . president of Bennett College, and Dr. Clifton R. Wharton Jr., former CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of TIAFF-CREF.
The ceremony was part of BIHE's Second Annual Benchmarks & Barriers for People of Color Noun 1. people of color - a race with skin pigmentation different from the white race (especially Blacks)
people of colour, colour, color
race - people who are believed to belong to the same genetic stock; "some biologists doubt that there are important in Higher Education Conference at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, Virginia.
The award pays tribute to the man who "researched and laid the historical foundation, context and strategy for the Brown v. Topeka decision" and honors contributions to higher education consistent with the standards of excellence established by Dr. Franklin. Last year's award winners included historian Dr. David Levering Lewis David Levering Lewis is an American historian and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, for part one and part two of his biography of W.E.B. Du Bois (in 1994 and 2001, respectively). ; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, philanthropic institution founded in 1994 by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, to improve the lives of the poor throughout the world, primarily through grants for projects relating to global health care, ; and Dr, Sybil Mobley, Dean Emeritus of Florida A & M University's School of Business and Industry.
Fred Beauford has taught Media History at the University of California at Berkeley (body, education) University of California at Berkeley - (UCB)
See also Berzerkley, BSD.
Note to British and Commonwealth readers: that's /berk'lee/, not /bark'lee/ as in British Received Pronunciation. ; State University of New York/Old Westbury; and California State Northridge.