John Hope Franklin

John Hope Franklin was a historian specializing in Southern and African American history. He wrote From Slavery to Freedom, the seminal work on African American history, which was first published in 1947. In the course of his career, Franklin had professorships at St. Augustine College, North Carolina College, Howard University, Brooklyn College, University of Chicago, and Duke University. He served as president of numerous historical and community organizations throughout his career. President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995. Franklin also served on President Clinton's Advisory Board for the President's Initiative on Race from 1997 to 1998.

Biographical History

1915
Born January 2, 1915
John Hope Franklin, 1930's

John Hope Franklin is born in Rentiesville, Oklahoma on January 2, 1915 to Buck Colbert and Mollie Parker Franklin. Franklin is the youngest of his three siblings, Mozella, Buck Jr, and Anne. His father is one of the first Black lawyers in the Oklahoma Indian territory, and the first Black judge to sit on an Oklahoma district court. His mother is a school teacher and community leader.


1921
Buck Franklin moves to Tulsa, Oklahoma (February)
Buck Colbert Franklin on Greenwood Street, near his office.

With a fledgling law practice in Rentiesville, Buck Franklin Sr., decides to seek greener pastures in the city of Tulsa. Tulsa became a center of business for the growing black community. Franklin's wife and family were supposed to move to Tulsa after Buck became established in town.


1921
Tulsa Riots occur (May 30-31)
Images showing property destruction after Tulsa Riots

The Tulsa Race Riots in 1921 becomes one of the most infamous cases of violence against African Americans in the history of America. The alleged genesis for the events was a black teen whistling at a white woman while in an elevator. Enraged at the break with the decorum of Jim Crow social practices, groups of whites in Tulsa began pillaging the corridor of businesses owned by African Americans in the town known as "Black Wall Street." The riots caused the burning and destruction of Buck Franklin's offices and delayed the Franklin family's arrival to Tulsa. Buck Franklin went on to represent a number of families and individuals seeking restitution for loss of property.


1921
Tulsa Riots occur (May 30-31)
Images showing property destruction after Tulsa Riots


1925
Franklin family moves to Tulsa, Oklahoma
Buck Colbert Franklin and Mollie Parker Franklin, 1925

Four and a half years after the Tulsa Riots in 1921, the Franklin family is reunited. Buck C. Franklin successfully sues the City of Tulsa for passing an ordinance that effectively barred black business owners from rebuilding after the Tulsa Riots.


1931
Graduates from Booker T. Washington High School
John Hope Franklin's high school diploma, received on June 4, 1931.

John Hope Franklin graduates from Booker T. Washington High School, the only high school for African Americans in Tulsa. Franklin gives the valedictory speech at his high school graduation.


1931
John Hope and Anne Franklin enter Fisk University
John Hope Franklin's

John Hope and his sister Anne Franklin enroll as undergraduate students at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Having received only a tuition scholarship, John Hope had to secure on-campus employment as secretary to the librarian to pay for other education-related expenses. In college, John Hope took a wide array of courses, including German, physical education, contemporary civilization, and a general science survey class.


1931
Meets Aurelia Whittington
Young Aurelia Whittington (undated photograph).

Anne Franklin introduces her classmate, Aurelia Whittington, to John Hope. Aurelia Whittingon was born in 1915 in Goldsboro, North Carolina.


1932
Meets Professor Theodore S. Currier

John Hope Franklin enrolls in a history course taught by Professor Theodore "Ted" S. Currier. Currier remained an advisor and friend of Franklin throughout his life. Currier encouraged Franklin to go to graduate school for a Ph.D. in history.


1932
Initiated into the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Fisk University
John Hope Franklin with members of the Alpha Chi Chapter of Fisk University (1937)

John Hope Franklin's older brother, Buck Jr. was president of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, and a very popular student on campus. Franklin, however, chooses to pledge Alpha Phi Alpha with one of his closest friends.


1931 – 1935
Thrives as a leader and student at Fisk University
Letter of recommendation from Professor Theodore S. Currier, on behalf of John Hope Franklin.

In his junior year at Fisk University, Franklin is elected president of his university's chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.


1935
Graduates from Fisk University
 

John Hope Franklin graduates magna cum laude from Fisk University. He was one of 75 students in the graduating class.


1935
Ted Currier finances John Hope's studies at Harvard University
 

Theodore S. Currier takes out a loan in order to finance John Hope Franklin's graduate education at Harvard University. Currier declared: "Money will not keep you out of Harvard!"


1936
Receives M.A. from Harvard University
 

In preparation to take a teaching appointment, John Hope Franklin receives his Master of Arts degree at Harvard University.


1937 – 1939
Returns to Fisk University as a professor

John Hope Franklin takes a leave of absence from Harvard University for one year to work as a professor at Fisk University. He makes this decision to repay Ted Currier's loan and serve as Currier's short-term replacement at Fisk, while he was on leave.


1939 – 1941
Begins dissertation research on the Free Negro in North Carolina
 

John Hope Franklin begins conducting his doctoral dissertation research at Harvard University. After encouragement from Professor Arthur M. Schlesinger, Franklin focuses on the topic of free Negroes in the state of North Carolina. Most of his research is done at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, NC. Franklin has to work in a segregated space adjoining the "whites-only" section of the reading room.


1939 – 1943
Appointed Professor of History at St. Augustine College
St. Augustine's College commencement, 1940. (JHF second from left).

John Hope Franklin is appointed Professor of History at St. Augustine College in Raleigh, North Carolina. At the time of his appointment, he is the only faculty member to hold a Ph.D.


1940
John Hope and Aurelia Whittington wed in Goldsboro, North Carolina
John Hope and Aurelia Franklin at home in Washington, D.C., 1948.

John Hope Franklin and Aurelia Whittington wed on June 11, 1940. The wedding ceremony is a small and simple event, held in the living room of Aurelia's family home.


1941
Graduates with Ph.D. in History from Harvard University
John Hope Franklin and Emory Johnson, Harvard University commencement, June 1941.

John Hope Franklin graduates from Harvard University with a Ph.D. in history after completing research and successfully defending his dissertation.


1943
Frustrated with segregation policies of the military, Franklin takes a stand to avoid military service
 

At the onset of America's entry into World War II, John Hope Franklin made numerous attempts to volunteer his skills for military services. Although he was highly qualified for office tasks and being a historian with the War Department, his applications were rejected because of his race. These discriminatory practices led Franklin to conclude that the government did not really want his service and he resolved avoid the military at all costs. In fact, one of the reasons for his eventual move to take a teaching appointment at the North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham, North Carolina was because the president of the school, Dr. James E. Shepard, was on the local draft appeal board, thus allowing Franklin to avoid military service.


1943
The Free Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860 published

The Free Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860 is John Hope Franklin's first book. The book highlights how freed slaves in the Antebellum South did not enjoy the full rights and privileges of American citizenship.


1943 – 1947
John Hope appointed Professor of History at the North Carolina College for Negroes
John Hope and Aurelia Franklin in Durham, North Carolina, 1944.

John Hope Franklin is appointed Professor of History at the North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University) in Durham, NC.


1947
From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes is published
From Slavery to Freedom, 9th Edition Cover

From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans is widely considered to be the most authoritative, definitive, and comprehensive accounts of African American history. The book has been translated into Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Portuguese, and over three million copies have been sold. The book has remained in print since it was first published.


1947 – 1956
Appointed Professor of History at Howard University
 

John Hope Franklin is appointed Professor of History at Howard University. Franklin also meets C. Vann Woodward, a prominent White historian, in Washington D.C.


1949
Becomes first African American to present a paper at the Southern Historical Association
 

John Hope Franklin and C. Vann Woodward work together to integrate the 1949 meeting of the Southern Historical Association. Franklin becomes the first African American to present a paper at the Southern Historical Association.


1949
Approached by NAACP to testify in the Sweatt v. Painter trial
Letter from Robert L. Carter (NAACP Assistant Special Counsel) to John Hope Franklin.

Sweatt v. Painter was a U.S. Supreme Court case that successfully challenged the "separate but equal" doctrine in higher education and professional schools that had been established by the Plessy v. Fergusson trial of 1896. The NAACP asked John Hope Franklin to testify at the Sweatt v. Painter trial.


1950
Teaches at Harvard University for the summer term
Official register for Harvard University Summer School, 1950.

John Hope Franklin is invited to be a member of the Harvard faculty for the summer term of 1950. Franklin teaches one lecture course (American history since 1865) and one seminar on the history of the New South.


1951
Joins the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies as lecturer
Copy of lecture outline for Salzburg Seminar

Dexter Perkins, President of the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, invites John Hope Franklin to lecture at the fourth annual session in Salzburg, Austria. The Salzburg Seminar was established as an "academic rest center" to connect European students and American professors. It was Franklin's first international trip.


1951
Joins the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies as lecturer
Copy of lecture outline for Salzburg Seminar


1952
John Whittington Franklin born
 

John Whittington Franklin is born on August 24, 1952. He is the only child of John Hope Franklin and Aurelia Whittington Franklin.


1953
Joins team of scholars to assist with the NAACP Brown v. Board trial
 

John Hope Franklin serves on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund team that develops the case for Brown v. Board of Education. Franklin's research contributed to Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP's legal victory in this landmark case.


1956 – 1964
John Hope becomes chair of Department of History at Brooklyn College
Newspaper clipping with article announcing John Hope Franklin's appointment as professor at Brooklyn College.

Brooklyn College, a predominantly White institution, appoints John Hope Franklin as Chairman of the Department of History. This is the first time an African American is appointed chair of any department at a traditionally White institution. During his tenure at Brooklyn College, Franklin publishes The Militant South, 1800-1860 (1956), Reconstruction after the Civil War (1961), and The Emancipation Proclamation (1963).


1956 – 1964
John Hope becomes chair of Department of History at Brooklyn College
Newspaper clipping with article announcing John Hope Franklin's appointment as professor at Brooklyn College.


1956
The Militant South, 1800-1861 published

The Militant South examines the ways in which a militant and aggressive culture among White men in the South, further fueled by their defense of slavery and mistrust of the North, contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.


1960
Receives first honorary degree from Morgan State College
John Hope Franklin receives honorary degree at Morgan State College.

John Hope Franklin receives an honorary doctorate from Morgan State College in Baltimore, MD. Over the course of his life, he would receive more than 130 honorary degrees.


1960
Attended Nigerian independence celebration
John Hope Franklin's invitation to the state opening of Nigeria's Parliament

John Hope Franklin joined a group formed by the US State Department to attend the celebration of Nigeria's independence


1961
Reconstruction after the Civil War published
 

Reconstruction After the Civil War offers a balanced and informative account of the role former slaves played in the Reconstruction era.


1962
Becomes the first African American member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC
 

John Hope Franklin becomes the first African American to be elected as a member of the Cosmos Club. The Cosmos Club is a private social club in Washington, D.C. that welcomes individuals from the arts, literature, and science.


1962 – 1963
Appointed visiting professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University
John Hope Franklin at Cambridge University

John Hope Franklin is appointed visiting Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University.


1962 – 1963
Appointed visiting professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University
John Hope and Aurelia Franklin at Cambridge University


1962 – 1969
Appointed to the Fulbright Board of Foreign Scholars
White House press release about John Hope Franklin's apppointment to the Fulbright Board of Foreign Scholars.

John Hope Franklin is appointed to the Fulbright Board of Foreign Scholars. He served as Chair of the Board from 1966 to 1969.


1963
The Emancipation Proclamation published

In this book, John Hope Franklin examines the circumstances and sociopolitical conditions that led President Lincoln to write the Emancipation Proclamation. This text also explores how the Emancipation Proclamation affected the trajectory of the war, as well as the significance that it has had for future generations.


1964 – 1982
Appointed professor of history at the University of Chicago
John Hope Franklin on campus at the University of Chicago, 1977.

Franklin joins the faculty at the University of Chicago. He serves as Chair of the History Department from 1967-1970, and is the John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor from 1969-1982. While at the University of Chicago, Franklin serves as President of the Southern Historical Society, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Historical Association. Franklin also serves on the National Council on the Humanities from 1976-1982. During his tenure at the University of Chicago, Franklin also publishes Color and Race (1969) and Racial Equality in America (1979). He becomes Professor Emeritus in 1982.


1964 – 1982
Appointed professor of history at the University of Chicago
John Hope Franklin teaching at the University of Chicago, 1977.


1965
Land of the Free published
Newspaper clipping from

Land of the Free: A History of the United States (co-authored with John Walton Caughey and Ernest R. May), provides a compelling account of the history of the United States, by establishing a narrative that shows respect and appreciation for the achievements and contributions of minority populations in the United States, in a way that most historical texts published at that time had not done.


1965
Participates in the Selma to Montgomery March
Selma to Montgomery March. Left to right: John Hope Franklin, Marker Haller, John Higham, Bradford Perkins, Arthur Mann, William Leuchtenberg.

John Hope Franklin joins thousands of activists and supporters to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in response to the murder by police of civil rights protester Jimmie Lee Jackson.


1970
An Illustrated History of Black Americans published

In An Illustrated History of Black Americans, John Hope Franklin provides a pictorial account of black life in America, beginning with the early origins in Africa and continuing to modern times. This book includes rare photographs and illustrations.


1976
Selected to deliver the Jefferson Lectures for the National Endowment for the Humanities
John Hope (2nd from right) and Aurelia Franklin (3rd from right) at the Jefferson Lectures.

The National Endowment for the Humanities invites John Hope Franklin to be the fifth Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities. Franklin gives three lectures in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco. The invitation to deliver his lectures coincided with the bicentennial of America's Independence. Franklin's three lectures focused on the topic of "Racial Equality in America."


1976
A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Antebellum North published

In A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Antebellum North, John Hope Franklin analyzes the travel patterns of Southerners, as well as their accounts of what they saw in the North. The book focuses on North-South relations among people during the antebellum era.


1976
Racial Equality in America published

John Hope Franklin offers a critical analysis of race relations in the United States by chronicling events of the nineteenth century that reveal how America's democratic ideals have not benefited African Americans.


1978
Elected to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame
Program from the 1978 Oklahoma Hall of Fame banquet.

John Hope Franklin is inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. This is the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive. Franklin is the only historian inducted at the ceremony that year.


1979
Retires from the University of Chicago
 

Following a serious health challenge, John Hope Franklin decides to take a leave of absence from the University of Chicago for two years, after which time he would formally retire from the institution. Franklin becomes Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago in 1982.


1979
Visit to China

John Hope Franklin becomes one of the first American scholars to visit China after the fall of communism.


1980
Appointed to the U.S. Delegation to the UNESCO General Conference, Belgrade
 

President Jimmy Carter nominates John Hope Franklin to be a member of the U.S. delegation to the 21st general conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. The conference was from September 23 to October 28, 1980.


1980 – 1981
Relocates to North Carolina, appointed a founding fellow with the National Humanities Center
 

John Hope Franklin and his wife Aurelia relocate to North Carolina, after he leaves the University of Chicago. Franklin serves as an inaugural fellow with the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park for one year.


1982 – 2009
Appointed professor of history at Duke University
John Hope Franklin at Duke University, circa 1997.

John Hope Franklin joins the faculty at Duke University as the James B. Duke Professor of History. He becomes the first Black professor to hold an endowed chair at Duke University.


1984
Awarded the Jefferson Medal for 1984
Newspaper clipping from the Herald Sun with article about John Hope Franklin receiving the Jefferson Medal (dated October 17, 1984).

John Hope Franklin receives the Jefferson Medal Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.


1984
Inducted into the Afro-American Hall of Fame (Ntu Art Association)
 

John Hope Franklin is inducted into the Afro-American Hall of Fame (now the Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame). Honorees are Oklahomans who have made significant contributions to their local community or the state of Oklahoma.


1985 – 2009
James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus at Duke University
 

After reaching the mandatory retirement age in 1985, John Hope Franklin retires for a second time, becoming Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University.


1985 – 1992
Appointed Professor of Legal History at the Duke University Law School
 

John Hope Franklin accepts an appointment as Professor of Legal History at Duke University, a position he holds until 1992. During this time, he publishes two books, George Washington Williams: A Biography (1985), and Race and History, Selected Essays (1989).


1985
George Washington Williams: A Biography published

In this book, John Hope Franklin traces the life of George Washington Williams, an accomplished Black intellectual who lived from 1849 to 1891. Williams was a soldier, lawyer, journalist, minister, and freelance diplomat. The book is part biography and part social history, as it highlights Franklin's own quest to uncover Williams' story.


1985
Awarded the Clarence Holte Literary Prize
 

John Hope Franklin is awarded the Clarence L. Holte Literary Prize for his book George Washington Williams: A Biography.


1985 – 2009
Appointed to the Board of the Durham Literacy Center
 

John Hope Franklin helps to establish the Durham Literacy Center in 1985. He also serves on the Board of the organization.


1989
Race and History: Selected Essays published

A collection of twenty-seven of John Hope Franklin's short essays. Includes Franklin's writings on historiography, historical figures, and history of the South.


1989
Awarded the Cleanth Brooks Medal
 

John Hope Franklin is the first recipient of the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Southern Letters by the Fellowship of Southern Writers.


1990
Awarded the Encyclopedia Britannica Gold Medal for the Dissemination of Knowledge
1990 Britannica Awards program cover ; Encyclopedia Britannica Gold Medal for the Dissemination of Knowledge.

John Hope Franklin is presented with the Encyclopedia Britannica Gold Medal for the Dissemination of Knowledge. This award is given to an individual in recognition of their "excellence in the dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of mankind."


1993
The Color Line: Legacy for the Twenty-First Century published

In this book, John Hope Franklin critically examines the state of race relations in the United States, and offers a revealing look at America's most persistent social problem -- the color line.


1994
Reconstruction after the Civil War (2nd Edition) published

The updated version of this book, which was first published in 1961, includes new research and scholarship. Franklin adds references to important, later texts that complement his original work. The extensive bibliography is also revised.


1994
Receives the Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement
The Bruce Catton Prize certificate ; John Hope Franklin receiving the Bruce Catton Prize from Leon Litwack for Lifetime Achievement in Historical Writing. (Picture from event program?)

The Society of American Historians awards John Hope Franklin the Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement. The Society of American Historians was founded by Allan Nevins and other historians to encourage literary distinction in the writing of history.


1995
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
John Hope Franklin receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton on September 29, 1995.

John Hope Franklin is awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton. The Medal of Freedom is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a U.S. civilian.


1995
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
John Hope Franklin receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton on September 29, 1995.


1995
Awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP
John Hope Franklin receiving the Spingarn Medal at the 80th NAACP Spingarn Awards ceremony.

John Hope Franklin receives the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP in 1995, "in recognition of an unrelenting quest for truth and the enlightenment of Western Civilization." The Spingarn Medal is the NAACP's highest honor, and is awarded annually to a person of African descent and American citizenship. The recipient of the Spingarn Medal is an individual who has attained high achievement and distinguished merit in any field.


1995
African Americans and the Living Constitution published

Edited by John Hope Franklin and Genna Rae McNeil. This book explores a range of topics, including institutionalized racism, hate speech, affirmative action, and racial discrimination.


1995
Honored at Duke University. John Hope Franklin Collection for African and African-American Documents at Duke is established.
 

John Hope Franklin is honored at Duke University by the establishment of the John Hope Franklin Collection for African and African-American Documents at Duke (now the John Hope Franklin Research Center).


1995
Receives the Organization of American Historians' Award for Outstanding Achievement
 

John Hope Franklin is presented with an Award for Outstanding Achievement by the Organization of American Historians.


1995
Receives the Fisk Alumni Association W.E.B. Dubois Award
John Hope Franklin with Jackie Sadle at Fisk Alumni Gala, May 6, 1995.

John Hope Franklin receives the inaugural W.E.B. DuBois Award from Fisk University Alumni Association.


1995
Receives the Chicago History Museum "Making History Award"
Chicago Historical Society

The Chicago History Museum honors John Hope Franklin with the "Making History Award" for Distinction in Historical Scholarship.


1996
Named "Historian of the Century" in North Carolina
John Hope Franklin (right) is congratulated by Percey R. Luney, Jr., dean of the N.C. Central University School of Law, upon being named

Duke University, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill name John Hope Franklin the "Historian of the Century."


1996
Awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award
 

The Oklahoma Center For The Book presents John Hope Franklin with its Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award. The annual award is a literary prize that is presented to an Oklahoman for their work.


1997
My Life and an Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin published

The autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin (John Hope Franklin's father) includes accounts of his daily experiences from growing up in an Indian Territory to his work as a lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The autobiography was published from materials assembled and edited by John Hope Franklin and John Whittington Franklin.


1997
Appointed Chairman of the Advisory Board of President Clinton's Initiative on Race
Informational brochure for

John Hope Franklin is appointed chair of the seven member advisory board for President Bill Clinton's Initiative on Race. "One America in the 21st Century: The President's Initiative on Race" was established to encourage community dialogue on race relations in the United States.


1997
Appointed Chairman of the Advisory Board of President Clinton's Initiative on Race
Informational brochure for


1997
Receives the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award

John Hope Franklin receives the Peggy V. Helmerich Award from the Tulsa Library Trust. The award has been presented annually since 1985 to an internationally acclaimed author in honor of "distinguished body of work written in the field of literature and letters."


1997
Inducted into the Booker T. Washington High School Hall of Fame
Plaque awarded to John Hope Franklin upon his induction to the Booker T. Washington High School Hall of Fame.

John Hope Franklin is inducted into the Booker T. Washington High School Hall of Fame. Honorees are individuals who have exhibited high levels of achievement and leadership, and have made noteworthy contributions to their field and community.


1998
Inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame
 

John Hope Franklin is inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. The NCLHOF honors distinguished writers in North Carolina writers.


1998
"A Journey Toward Peace" produced in Sengal
 

John Hope Franklin and Bishop Desmond Tutu filmed "A Journey Toward Peace," a documentary film which aired on PBS.The film begins with the historic first encounter between Tutu and Franklin on Goree Island, the infamous former slave port off the coast of Senegal. The two are then joined by an international, interracial group of 21 high school students, and engage in a series of unusually candid encounters on race and begin an emotional journey towards racial reconciliation.


1999
The Diary of James T. Ayers published

The Diary of James T. Ayers: Civil War Recruiter is edited by John Hope Franklin. The book presents a unique look into the recruitment process of African Americans during the Civil War, as told from the perspective of James T. Ayers, a northern White preacher. The book also highlights Ayers' complex attitudes towards racial issues, the Confederacy, and the Civil War.


1999
Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation published

Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation, by John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, provides fascinating analysis of slave rebellion and escape attempts and reveals that slaves frequently rebelled against their slave owners and tried to escape. This account directly challenges popular notions of passive behavior among slaves, and describes how many slaves valiantly attempted to attain their freedom.


1999
Becomes first African American recipient of the Truman Good Neighbor Award
Program for the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation luncheon.

John Hope Franklin becomes the first African American recipient of The Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award. This distinguished award is presented to honor an individual in public life who exemplifies the "Good Neighbor" principles of Harry S. Truman, and has worked to improve their community, the nation, and the world.


1999
Named "Tar Heel of the Year" by Raleigh News & Observer
 

The Raleigh News & Observer names John Hope Franklin "Tar Heel of the Year" in 1999. The annual honor is presented to a North Carolinian in recognition of the individual's leadership. The honoree is selected by newspaper's editors.


1999
State of Oklahoma declares March 12, 1999 John Hope Franklin Day
Certificate from the State of Oklahoma in recognition of John Hope Franklin day. Signed February 8, 1999 by Governor Frank Keating.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives approves a resolution declaring March 12, 1999 John Hope Franklin Day.


2001
Duke University establishes the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute and the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary & International Studies

Duke University establishes the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary & International Studies in honor of John Hope Franklin. The Center is a consortium of academic programs that encourage creative and collaborative scholarship and is the only building at Duke named after an African American.


2002
Included in the list of 100 Greatest African Americans
 

In 2002, renowned scholar Molefe Kete Asante included John Hope Franklin in a biographical encyclopedia that includes a compilation of one hundred of the most influential African Americans (as assessed by Asante).


2005
Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin published

John Hope Franklin's riveting memoir chronicles his life, and offers a candid account of America's complex history of civil rights during Franklin's lifetime.


2006
In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South published

This co-authored book (with Loren Schweninger) offers a portrait of the lives of the extended Thomas-Rapier family, as well as slave life prior to the Civil War.


2006
Awarded John W. Kluge Prize for Study of Humanity by the Library of Congress
 

John Hope Franklin is a co-recipient of the $1 million John W. Kluge Prize for Study of Humanity awarded by the Library of Congress.


2007
Receives the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Academy of Arts & Letters and the American Philosophical Society
 

John Hope Franklin is honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and the American Philosophical Society.


2007
Receives Records of Achievement from the Foundation for the National Archives
 

John Hope Franklin receives the Records of Achievement from the Foundation for the National Archives. This award is presented to honor an individual "whose work has fostered a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the United States through the use of original records."


2009
Dies March 25, 2009 in Durham, NC

John Hope Franklin dies at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC on Wednesday, March 25, 2009. A memorial service was held for Franklin at the Duke University Chapel on Thursday, June 11, 2009. Hundreds of people were in attendance, including former President Bill Clinton.


2011
Mirror to America receives Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights 2011 Book Award
 

In 2011, John Hope Franklin's autobiography, Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin, received the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Book Award. The RFK Book Award is presented to a novelist who "most faithfully and forcefully reflects Robert Kennedy's purposes - his concern for the poor and the powerless, his struggle for honest and even-handed justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity." A panel of judges selects the winner of the annual award.