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John Hope Franklin » I For Color

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John Hope Franklin

· “The preeminent voice and witness for America’s sojourn from slavery to freedom has been silenced physically. But his writings, research, interpretation and legacy will live forever. I talked with him as a student and walked the University of Chicago campus with him. He was who I went to first for advice and counsel. All of his students felt that we were his prize possession. He mad us feel that way. In the family of American historians he sits in a high seat and occupies a high place.” — Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition

· “His work helped make possible an expansion of freedom and justice that has continued from Brown v. Board … to last fall’s election. We are all diminished by his loss.” — Drew Gilpin Faust

· “He was working in a profession that more or less banned him at the outset and ended up its leading practitioner. And yet, he always managed to keep his grace and his sense of humor.” — Tim Tyson, a history professor at Duke

· “I think about a phrase my father uses a gentleman and a scholar. He was both of those things. His honesty and his integrity and his restraint were coupled with a passionate devotion to his craft and to his country. He had a fierce sense of commitment to public scholarship, the kind of scholarship that matters.” — Tim Tyson, Duke University history professor and author

· “John Hope Franklin lived for nearly a century and helped define that century. A towering historian, he led the recognition that African-American history and American history are one. With his grasp of the past, he spent a lifetime building a future of inclusiveness, fairness and equality. Duke has lost a great citizen and a great friend.” — Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead

· “John Hope Franklin personified the dignity, empowerment and faith of a generation of African-Americans who persisted, and succeeded, in making their country live up to its promise as a land of equal opportunity. He never permitted anyone to take away his dignity or sense of self. … He was a wonderful mentor, a dear friend and a colleague who loved to celebrate the achievements of his fellow scholars. He will be sorely missed.” — William Chafe, Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History, Duke University

· “One of the great stories of his life is his dignity in the face of the kind of rampant racism that existed. When he first did research at Duke in the 1940s, he could use the manuscript collection, but he could not eat his lunch or use the bathroom because it was segregated. And he never lost his sense of empowerment in the face of that kind of treatment.” — Bill Chafe, past president of Organization of American Historians and a history professor at Duke

· “By always telling the truth to America and the world about history, he steered our conscience in such a way that constantly made it uncomfortable to accept the status quo. He reminded us that we must do more than merely apologize for the pain of the past, but we also must make amends.” — William Barber, state chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

· “John Hope Franklin was a tremendous leader, historian and friend to North Carolina and to the nation. He personified giving and his work to advance the understanding of African-American contributions was unmatched by any other. He will be sadly missed.” — North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue

· “With the passing of John Hope Franklin, North Carolina has lost a great scholar and a moral compass for all of us. He inspired with his words and with his teaching, and he set an unsurpassed example of courage, leadership and commitment. From John Hope Franklin we learned about history, but we also learned the way to chart a new path of justice and opportunity for our state and our nation.” — North Carolina Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton

· “Dr. Franklin was a worldwide figure, a seminal author and a man of immeasurable insight. We were privileged in North Carolina for so long to have near immediate access to such a rich mind. We will all miss his lessons and we mourn for his loss.” — North Carolina House Speaker Joe Hackney