John Hope Franklin died March 25 at the age of 94. As a historian, scholar, and activist Franklin advanced African-American causes throughout his career. Fresh Air remembers the historian and scholar with an interview from 1990.
Historian John Hope Franklin and John Whittington Franklin, son and grandson of Buck Colbert Franklin. The two have co-edited his autobiography, "My Life and an Era" (Louisiana State University Press). Buck Colbert Franklin grew up on the frontier when Oklahoma was a new state, tri-racial in composition. He then went on to start a law practice in Tulsa. His son, John Hope Franklin, wrote "From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans," and serves as the chairman of the Advisory Board on the President's Initiative on Race.
Historian John Hope Franklin. Years before there were any black history departments, Franklin was researching the stories of free-blacks in the antebellum south. His interest in black history began while he was a graduate student in the 1930's. Since then he has written a number of books on the subject. His latest book "Race and History," is a collection of essays written between 1938 and 1988. Franklin is Professor of Legal History at Duke University.