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Tributes to John Hope Franklin: Scholar, Mentor, Father, Friend
edited by Beverly Jarrett
University of Missouri Press, 2003
eISBN: 978-0-8262-6443-5 | Cloth: 978-0-8262-1504-8
Library of Congress Classification E175.5.F73T75 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.8960730092


In 1947 John Hope Franklin, then a professor of history at North Carolina College for Negroes, wrote From Slavery to Freedom. Now in its eighth edition, that book, which redefined our understanding of American history, remains the preeminent record of the African American experience. With it and a dozen other books, Franklin has been established as the intellectual father of black studies.
Tributes to John Hope Franklin focuses on this esteemed scholar’s academic achievements, his humanitarian contributions, and his extraordinary legacy. This collection of comments by Franklin’s students, colleagues, family, and friends captures the man and his work for future generations. Tributes offered by Franklin’s admirers, Walter B. Hill Jr., David Levering Lewis, Alfred A. Moss Jr., Darlene Clark Hine, Loren Schweninger, Daryl Michael Scott, George M. Fredrickson, Mary Frances Berry, and many others, attest to Franklin’s commitment to his intellectual pursuits, to public service, and, most important, to his students.
Franklin’s dedication to mentoring those who sought his help, as well as providing for his family, is beyond compare. In one essay, John W. Franklin offers an inside view of growing up with John Hope and Aurelia Franklin, detailing the travels and associations that were a part of his experience as their son. Alfred Moss, coauthor of the last three editions of From Slavery to Freedom, shares special images of Franklin as mentor to a young Anglican priest.
Genna Rae McNeil shows us the quintessential teacher through the eyes of a passionate young scholar beginning her own voyage into the study of American history. George Fredrickson takes on the challenge of explaining the complexity of the work of this man who has been both a fervent proponent of racial equality and a practitioner of “detached, objective, dispassionate historical scholarship.”
Each of the pieces—by men and by women, by blacks and by whites, by several generations of participants in the twentieth century’s journey toward a better America—recalls for us what a vital role John Hope Franklin has played in that voyage. Tributes to John Hope Franklin is a joy to read and an incredible opportunity to celebrate a life and a body of historical work dedicated to achieving and sharing the wisdom that scholarly excellence provides.

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