Thursday, March 26, 2009

In Memory: Dr. John Hope Franklin

Today is Thursday, 26 March 2009.

It is with great sorrow that the Museum of the Bourgeois mourns the death yesterday of Dr. John Hope Franklin, the greatest historian of the African-American experience.

Dr. Franklin's 1947 book, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans, is as fine a classic of American writing as exists.

While living in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a child, Franklin witnessed what is usually termed the "Tulsa Race Riot" in 1921. The latter was in actuality a crime against humanity, a planned paramilitary operation which resulted in the murders of 300 to 3,000 Blacks of all ages, the burning of some 2,000 homes and businesses, and property destruction of ca. $25,000,000 (current equivalent).

“I have struggled to understand, how it is that we could fight for independence and, at the very same time, use that newly won independence to enslave many who had joined in the fight for independence."

“As a student of history, I have attempted to explain it historically, but that explanation has not been all that satisfactory. That has left me no alternative but to use my knowledge of history, and whatever other knowledge and skills I have, to present the case for change in keeping with the express purpose of attaining the promised goals of equality for all peoples.”

Quotation above from obituary in The New York Times:


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