Friday, February 17, 2006
Dr. John Hope Franklin
Author of the seminal work From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans Dr. John Hope Franklin( (Biography) at 90 years old, has just published his latest book entitled Mirror to America : The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin We were privileged to be among 200 or so people that got to hear him speak on his life and his life's work. The setting was a lecture followed by a book signing sponsored by one of the Bay Area's premium book sellers Cody's Books.
National Public Radio Interview
Dr. Franklin was one of my childhood heroes who brought the history of African Americans to life. Hearing him speak at 90 years old still able to roll out the facts and dates of his life, that spanned from 1915 to the present, was incredible. He is both a historian and a shaper of history eloquent and humorous at turns.
DR. FRANKLIN: "What we are trying to understand about our present, and our future, de
ends on what we know about our past, and the kind of past that we have here, of the beginning of the Middle Passage, to the establishment of the slave institution in the United States and in the New World, generally, has much to do with the way we think about ourselves, the way we think about our institutions, indeed, the way we think about our country." From A PBS Documentary Tutu and Franklin: A Journey to Peace Read the Transcript
He made a special point during his presentation to acknowledge a group of kids from a who came from Camp Sweeney Juvenile Hall program in Alameda County Jail. He said, talking directly to about 20 of them in the front rows of Berkeley's United Presbyterian Church; he would have been happy if it was just him and these young men here. If no one else had come tonight. Your presence here he said "gives me hope."