Wednesday, March 25, 2009
John Hope Franklin
The prominent historian John Hope Franklin passed away today at the age of 94. He was a black intellectual who never compromised his dignity or his scholarship to fit some 'place' others thought he should be in. He often said that the racial slurs and slights he suffered never cut too deep with him because, "I knew something they didn't -- I was as good as they were."
My wife and I had the honor of sharing a meal with Mr. Franklin while he was visiting in our area. He sat next to me and spoke softly of fly fishing and Southern summers and how he doesn't like the cold anymore. I didn't really know very much about him then. I sensed he knew that, and I think it pleased him. He took an evening off from being John Hope Franklin the prominent black historian and got to be an aged fly fisherman talking weather with a rube.
A moment of silence, please, for the Professor. John Hope Franklin, they are all Southern summers now.