Friday, March 27, 2009

Civil Rights Pioneer John Hope Franklin Dies At 94

Civil Rights pioneer, professor and historian John Hope Franklin died Wednesday of congestive heart failure. He was 94. Scripture shows us that names are significant to a person. It is no accident then that God put "Hope" in the middle of his identity. At our church, hope stands for having only positive expectations. John Hope Franklin had positive expectations not only for himself, but for all African Americans and for race relations in America. I am so grateful he lived and wasn't afraid to be himself, a black man filled with hope. He brought dignity to the African American experience in countless ways and has given us all hope for the future.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)-John Hope Franklin, a towering scholar and pioneer of African-American studies who wrote the seminal text on the black experience in the U.S. and worked on the landmark Supreme Court case that outlawed public school segregation, died Wednesday. He was 94.
David Jarmul, a spokesman at Duke University, where Franklin taught for a decade and was professor emeritus of history, said he died of congestive heart failure at the school's hospital in Durham.
Born and raised in an all-black community in Oklahoma where he was often subjected to humiliating racism, Franklin was later instrumental in bringing down the legal and historical validations of such a world.
As an author, his book "From Slavery to Freedom" was a landmark integration of black history into American history that remains relevant more than 60 years after being published. As a scholar, his research helped Thurgood Marshall and his team at the NAACP win Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 case that barred the doctrine of "separate but equal" in the nation's public schools.
Pioneering historian John Hope Franklin dies at 94


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