New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. First Edition. Octavo (23.5 cm.) 401 pp. Half grey cloth. Initials of author in silver gilt on front board, titles in silver gilt on spine. Photo pictorial dust jacket. Inscribed by author. Item #73
When John Hope Franklin was 6, in 1921, he was forcibly removed from a train for sitting in a coach reserved for white people. When he was 80, in 1995, and a member of an exclusive club, the distinguished professor, scholar and author was mistaken for a coat checker. It is these daily indignities, Dr. Franklin argued, that tears at the soul and poisons the quality of life for people of color. Yet, from the time of his birth, Franklin was destined to be an intellectual. His analytical and cool nature matched well with the forces of racism and inequality he pushed against. At his tenure as the first Black historian at a white institution, Brooklyn College, Franklin changed the status of African American history and how it was taught, elevating it from being merely a "sideman" of American history to a powerful lens that gets to the root, center and purpose of the democracy. Born when Woodrow Wilson was president and life for African Americans was a cruel and uphill struggle, Franklin bravely challenged the barriers of race from openly sparing with Franklin D. Roosevelt, to aiding Thurgood Marshall for arguing "Brown vs. Board of Education" to joining Martin Luther King Jr.'s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. After 40 years of extensive research and scholarship, Franklin published the only biography of the only other man he cites as matching him in his passion and determination - 19th century African American historian, George Washington Williams. Inscribed warmly: "To Immanuel, Best Wishes John Hope Franklin"