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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/26/franklin-john-hope.jpg caption="John Hope Franklin"]
In Session Anchor
Historian John Hope Franklin died yesterday in Durham, North Carolina. He was 94. Perhaps you have never heard of Dr. Franklin. Historians — even the great ones — make it their business to document the big events. Rarely are they at the center of it all. But as an African-American child born in the 1960s, I heard early and often about John Hope Franklin. He was not just a historian. He was a scholar of our history— the history of black people in America.
As such, Dr. Franklin wasn’t content to sit on the sidelines while his people struggled for equality. He marched on Selma. He met with presidents. He consulted with the lawyers who would argue Brown v. Board of Education in the U.S. Supreme Court. With Dr. Franklin’s help, they were able to convince the Justices that separate was inherently unequal. This, of course, had a direct impact on my life and the lives of generations of black children since.
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