Remembering a Man Named Hope

I submit this in memory of Dr. John Hope Franklin

Dr. John Hope Franklin

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 Historian, Scholar and Author Dr. John Hope Franklin’s journey towards peace came to an end. Many people who read this blog regularly may understand my interest and why I give such importance of this noble and distinguished man.

Over the past year I’ve found myself becoming increasingly interested in following the worn path Dr. Franklin walked.

Many decades before I was born Dr. Franklin was among the notables in academia. In interest of space and time I will not list them all, but strongly encourage you to visit the long list of Honors & Appointments provided by one of the last institution that was fortunate to have his attendance, Duke University.

Dr. Franklin and a few others of his stature are sources of inspiration and encouragement to someone like me that even I can walk a similar academic path. A path that appears impossible at the moment, but to walk the path of people such as Dr. John Hope Franklin, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, Rep. John Lewis and many others allows me to be hopeful that even I can achieve similar heights.

I guess my admiration stems from a personal zeal and adherence to history, culture, race relations and reconciliation. The tremendous respect that I have for Dr. Franklin will not be silence by the sorrow of his passing, because just like his name he continues to lend Hope.

Hope by example of his life’s works and deeds. Hope is not bound to the self defeating adversities that were socially accepted by many throughout the length of his life. I am encouraged and choose to accept the spirit of Hope as inspiration and motivation to seek the intellectual tools that enables the willingness to “…be out there on the firing line, helping, directing or doing something to try to make this a better world, a better place to live.”

As many reflect on the life of Mr. John Hope Franklin I want those who may not know much or anything about Dr. Franklin to consider the urgent need to re-examine our own history. “I think knowing one’s history leads one to act in a more enlightened fashion. I can not imagine how knowing one’s history would not urge one to be an activist.” – DR. JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN

So I leave with my favorite quote by Dr. John Hope Franklin, “”The very essence of the life of the mind is the freedom to inquire, to examine, and to criticize. But that freedom has the same restraints abroad that it has at home: to state one’s position, if impelled by personal conviction, with clarity, reason, and sobriety, always mindful of the point that the scholar recognizes and tolerates different views that others may hold and that his view is independent, not official.

Finally, I say thank you Dr. Franklin for giving this young man hope.

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References & Inspirations
NPR: Tell Me More – 03/26/09 “John Hope Franklin Dies, Leaves Guiding Light
Duke UniversityJohn Hope Franklin
Google Search – Books by John Hope Franklin
Fisk University Blog – 03/25/09 “Fisk Remembers Dr. John Hope Franklin

8 thoughts on “Remembering a Man Named Hope

  1. As I listen at the moment to the NPR piece, thanks Tim for the resources so I can learn more about what you cherrish.

    1. One of the many things that I’ve always strive to achieve is what Dr. Franklin strive to achieve, “to weave into the fabric of American history enough of the presence of blacks so that the story of the United States could be told adequately and fairly.” But not only Blacks, because I’m Black, but to try to demonstrate how similar we all are when given the opportunity to share it.

      There’s not many people I speak with such reverence and high respect. Dr. King is one, Dr. Franklin is another, Dr. Frederick K.C. Price is another (who is still living) and a handful of others. Most people I would greet with my usual casualness, but these individuals I only speak of with formalness and respect.

      Thanks for reading and checking out the other links.

  2. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know much about him until his passing was announced. And to think, he was once head of the history dept at Brooklyn College—where I’ll be graduating at the end of May.

    1. Dr. Franklin is one person I wish I would have had the honor to meet in person before his death. I may never get to read all of the books that I want to read, because I just don’t have the time. But his books will be among my growing reading list.

      I appreciate you reading my blog today.

  3. Thank You for posting this tribute, I’m also embarrassed to say that I was not aware of Dr. John Hope Franklin before this, I will now research his life and learn more about him.

  4. Dr. Franklin was one of my hero’s. Like you I, too, wished I could have met him. His example was also one of grace and dignity.

    I’m not alone in saying, “Thank You, Tim” for posting such an honorable tribute to a man of great stature.


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