Wednesday, March 25, 2009

John Hope Franklin, RIP

John Hope Franklin, the esteemed historian if the African-American experience, died today.  I first came across Franklin's work when I took History of the American South in college.  Later in seminary I again encountered when I took History of the African American Church at the Interdenominational Theological Center as part of a consortium program at the McAfee School of Theology.  I quickly learned that if you wanted to study Southern history or African-American history then you needed to read Dr. Franklin.

My favorite story about Dr. Franklin is his refusal to serve in World War 2.  As a person with P.hD., Franklin was shocked to learn that in the segregated military all he could be was as an enlisted office aide.  Franklin thought that the U.S. Navy thought so little of his abilities and what he had to offer then the U.S. could win the war without him.

Dr. John Hope Franklin will be missed by all of us who love to study history.

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