Rest in Power John Hope Franklin
Yesterday, at the age of 94, the unparalleled historian of the African-American experience John Hope Franklin passed away into the ancestral realm. While many may not be familiar with his name, if you took a Black Studies or African-American Studies course you likely came across his seminal textbook “From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans.” One of my favorite posters hung in my graduate school advisor’s office with the words, “Which one did you learn from?” And it featured the then probably 6 editions of book neatly lined up. The image struck me because I could visually see the legacy that Dr. Franklin had passed down to generations of students of African and non-African descent. In addition to From Slavery to Freedom, Dr. Franklin authored over 15 books and ushered in great generations of historians and biographers, such as David Levering Lewis. One of the greatest marks of a person is not what they do when they are here, but what they leave behind and build for those behind them. I am glad to see that the fruit of John Hope Franklin’s work is already visible and we will continue to grow from his sage insights for generations to come. Rest in Power.