Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dr. John Hope Franklin Laid Down With Our Ancestors

Dr. John Hope Franklin died March 24, 2009 after suffering congestive heart failure. He was 94 years old.

Most remember him as a legendary educator and was considered one of the most prolific scholars of his generation. Dr. Franklin was known for documenting the trials and tribulations that affected many African-Americans. He is most notably remembered for writing From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes, published in 1947. The book sold over 3 million copies.

His life was a true testimony of faith, hard work, and the power of completion. Back in 1921, his father's office was burned down during the race riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma and he and his family lost everything.

That did not discourage him because he knew that he had a purpose. Dr. Franklin was driven to succeed.

There were many positive role models in his life, namely his father. At one time, Dr. Franklin was going to study Law, but fate stepped in and one of his mentors suggested he study History. As a result, Dr. Franklin took the path less tredded, and as an African American, he had published over 16 books and hundreds of academic papers.

He knew that he had a purpose, and was driven.

In 1954, Dr. Franklin helped research information that led to Justice Thurgood Marshall's land mark argument before the Supreme Court, which lead to overturning segregation in the public school system.

How fortunate we all are to live in a time where we as Americans can actually see how far we have come as a Nation - as a people.

Thank you for your brilliance, Dr. Franklin. We will miss you.

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