AfriGeneas Writers Forum
John Hope Franklin, Black Historian, Dies at 94
March 25, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- John Hope Franklin, a towering scholar and pioneer of African-American studies who wrote the seminal text on the black experience in the U.S. and worked on the landmark Supreme Court case that outlawed public school segregation, died Wednesday. He was 94.
David Jarmul, a spokesman at Duke University, where Franklin taught for a decade and was professor emeritus of history, said he died of congestive heart failure at the school's hospital in Durham.
Born and raised in an all-black community in Oklahoma where he was often subjected to humiliating racism, Franklin was later instrumental in bringing down the legal and historical validations of such a world.
As an author, his book ''From Slavery to Freedom'' was a landmark integration of black history into American history that remains relevant more than 60 years after being published. As a scholar, his research helped Thurgood Marshall and his team at the NAACP win Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 case that barred the doctrine of ''separate but equal'' in the nation's public schools.