Celebrating The Scholarly Legacy Of John Hope Franklin

Nov 10, 2015

John Hope Franklin
Credit Duke Performances

Renown historian John Hope Franklin would be 100-years-old if he were alive today.  Duke University is celebrating his legacy with the symposium, “Global Slaveries, Impossible Freedoms–The Intellectual Legacies of John Hope Franklin.”

John W. Franklin was on hand for Thursday night's  keynote address by Harvard University President Drew Faust, who spoke highly of his father’s book, “From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans," published in 1947.

“Well, look at what was going on in 1915 and look at what has and has not changed in 2015," said John W. Franklin. " And I thought it was very interesting that President Faust reiterated Black Lives Matter so much because their lives have not mattered for the last 500 years.”

John Hope Franklin was a graduate of Fisk University and received his PhD from Harvard.  He taught at what is now North Carolina Central University and Duke University and was considered the pre-eminent authority on African American history. 

Faust told a crowd at Duke's Nasher Museum,  John Hope Franklin often said "confront our past and see it for what it is."

John W. Franklin says he hopes this weekend’s symposium will encourage people to learn their history.

“Learn the family stories while your relatives are alive. There are many questions I would like to ask my parents, but they are long gone. So use every opportunity that you can to learn as much as you can about your family," said Franklin.

Symposium speakers include University of California-Santa Cruz Professor and Activist Angela Davis and Multi-media Artist Lorna Simpson, along with several other scholars of History, African American and Gender studies.