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Public Statements on Passing of Dr. John Hope Franklin

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Lee Statement on Passing of
Dr. John Hope Franklin

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Contact : J. Jioni Palmer

Washington D.C. – Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, released the following statement today after learning of the passing of noted historian John Hope Franklin:

“Today our nation lost a mighty scholar and soldier for justice. We mourn the loss and celebrate the life of John Hope Franklin as we remember his trailblazing achievements in a variety of fields.

“For many African Americans our first introduction to black history was through Dr. Franklin’s book From Slavery to Freedom. In its pages we found an account of American history that affirmed the dignity of black people and the nobility of our struggle.

“Dr. Franklin was not only a noted historian, but also living history himself. His accomplishments are as many as they are great.

“One of Dr. Franklin’s earliest and most important contributions was as a member of the team of scholars who worked with Thurgood Marshall to win the landmark school desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education.

“Today we greatly mourn Dr. Franklin’s passing and the loss of his wise counsel, but we will be forever grateful for his lasting contributions.”



Brenda Davis Jones

Communications Director

The Honorable John Lewis

343 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC  20515

202.226.4673 (o)

202.225.0351 (f)




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                 CONTACT:  Brenda Jones

March 25, 2009                                                                                                                                          202-226-4673                                                                                                                       

Rep. John Lewis Mourns the Death of

Historian John Hope Franklin


          The nation’s greatest historian of black America, John Hope Franklin, died today in a Duke University Hospital in Durham, NC.  He was 94 years old.  Best known as the author of From Slavery to Freedom:  A History of African Americans, which was published 8 times and sold over 3 million copies, he was the author of many books that helped to document the African American experience.  He was also a recipient of more than 100 honorary degrees.  Rep. John Lewis made this statement upon hearing of Franklin’s death.


            “We have lost one of the most distinguished historians of our time.  No one—no scholar, no social scientist, no other historian—knew more about the plight, the struggle, and the contributions of African Americans than John Hope Franklin. 


            “When John Hope Franklin spoke, we listened because we knew he was telling us the truth about our history.  I remember as a student, during the late 50s and 60s, I would attend a conference where many Southern historians would gather, and on so many occasions John Hope Franklin was the only historian of color there.  But he was deeply respected by his colleagues in the academic community.


            “John Hope Franklin was a gentleman and a supreme scholar.  America has lost one of its most honorable and capable sons.  He will be deeply missed.”







Brenda Davis Jones

Communications Director

The Honorable John Lewis

343 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC  20515

202.226.4673 (o)

202.225.0351 (f)


  IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          March 26, 2009

    Contact: Richard J. McIntire

                   (202) 463-2940 x1021





NAACP Chairman Julian Bond and NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous released the following statement on the passing of noted historian and activist John Hope Franklin:

America has lost a real treasure with the death of John Hope Franklin. He was a pioneer in democratizing American history, giving black Americans a proper place in the development of the United States. His magnificent work, From Slavery to Freedom, insures people of color will not be forgotten when the American story is told. He was more than America's most prominent historian - his civic activism set a high standard for academics, marching in Selma, serving on numerous commissions and advising presidents. He is irreplaceable and will be much missed.

John Hope Franklin was the 1995 recipient of the NAACP Spingarn Medal, the Association’s highest honor, given for distinguished merit and achievement among Americans of African descent.


Founded in 1909, the NAACP--the nation's oldest, largest and most widely-recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization—is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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