John Hope Franklin


By Brandon Whitney

I was a History and Political Science major at Virginia Union University when I first found out about John Hope Franklin. I actually had to do a paper on the Oklahoma born historian for a History research methods class. John Hope Franklin was a man who did much for the understanding of African American history. A great deal of who we are as a people is documented because of his efforts.

Oklahoma was intended, at one point, to be a state for America’s newly freed Black population. Because of this there were many African Americans who lived there. John Hope Franklin was among them. He endured severe racism in Oklahoma and, when he became a historian, allowed his experiences to make him a better scholar. This is a man who, when he attended Harvard, had to struggle just to get access to the library facilities. He assisted Thurgood Marshall during the Brown vs. The Board of Education, one of his greatest scholarly works, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, is one of the most important documentations of African American history ever written. He is an giant in the world of history.

Here is why John Hope Franklin is important to me. Franklin wrote a book called Runaway Slaves. In this book, John Hope Franklin explains that the slaves rebelled against their captivity in a number of ways. They stole from those who kept them captive. They formed allegiances with one another against their masters. The slaves hid in the Great Abysmal Swamp and raided slave plantations. They escaped to freedom, a very difficult and dangerous task. John Hope Franklin presented factual information that showed me that our ancestors the slaves were not cowards or weak. Franklin showed me that the slaves had fought in numerous ways against oppression until Jubilee. I was proud of my heritage before I read Franklin, but a sliver of doubt I had not known existed was removed by his book. A burden I hadn’t even known was there was lifted. Rest in peace John Hope Franklin, you will be missed but you will not be forgotten.


3 Responses to “John Hope Franklin”

  1. The Lasting Tribute website has updated its memorial pages to include John Hope Franklin.

    It’s a respectful memorial to John and somewhere to pay tribute to the family’s fortitude at this difficult time.

    EVERY comment is monitored so that nothing offensive or inappropriate is published.

  2. I would like to underline the fact this post is amazing , you got me bookmarking your site!

  3. G wiz, please can you tell me if h was trained by Woodon as Kimathi Carr and disuted this

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