Statement of Ralph B. Everett, President and CEO, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, on the Death of Historian John Hope Franklin
World-renowned historian John Hope Franklin, who died yesterday at age 94, was a scholar's scholar. He not only created the field of African American history - he embodied it. Dr. Franklin's life and career spanned the arc of the black experience in 20th and 21st century America, while his scholarship evoked the struggles of African Americans from generations past and gave them relevance and meaning in the modern world. Through it all, he brought uncommon moral leadership and a special grace to his many endeavors, from his involvement in the earliest days of the civil rights movement to his chairmanship of President Clinton's Initiative on Race.
We feel a particular sadness here at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, an institution where for many years Dr. Franklin gave freely of his deep knowledge and insights, and through which he contributed an impressive body of scholarly work. The Joint Center and the nation benefitted greatly from his leadership of our Committee on Policy for Racial Justice, a group of 30 preeminent black scholars who worked together during the 1980s to explore the vast array of problems facing African Americans. We are especially privileged to remember that Dr. Franklin was honored, along with Bishop Desmond Tutu, at the Joint Center's 2001 Annual Dinner.
Our condolences go out to Dr. Franklin's family, and particularly his son, John W. Franklin, who is a valued member of our Board of Governors. The memory of this great man and his many contributions to humanity will forever inspire us to boldly pursue his enduring vision of equality and opportunity for all.