Category Archives: Franklin Research Center

ABC’s of John Hope Franklin – (E) Education

John Hope Franklin excelled in his academic work throughout his education. Below is the list of schools that Franklin attended.

Booker T. Washington High School (Tulsa, Oklahoma):In 1931,John Hope Franklin graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. Franklin gave the valedictory speech at his graduation.

John Hope Franklin's diploma from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, OK, 1931
John Hope Franklin’s diploma from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, OK, 1931

Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee): John Hope and his sister Anne Franklin enrolled as undergraduate students at Fisk University in 1931. Having received only a tuition scholarship, John Hope had to secure on-campus employment as secretary to the librarian to pay for other education-related expenses. In college, John Hope took a wide array of courses, including German, physical education, contemporary civilization, and a general science survey class. In 1932, John Hope Franklin enrolled in a history course taught by Professor Theodore “Ted” S. Currier. Currier remained an advisor and friend of Franklin throughout his life. Currier encouraged Franklin to go to graduate school for a Ph.D. in history and even took a bank loan on behalf of Franklin to help finance his graduate education. Franklin was initiated into the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Fisk University in 1932. He excelled in his academic work and thrived as a student leader. In his junior year at Fisk University, Franklin was elected president of his university’s chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. Franklin was one of 75 students in his graduating class. He graduated magna cum laude from Fisk University in 1935.

John Hope Franklin's grade book at Fisk University, 1933
John Hope Franklin’s grade book at Fisk University, 1933

Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts): Franklin gained admission to Harvard University for doctoral studies in 1935. He earned his Master’s degree in History in 1936, and his Ph.D. in 1941 after completing his research and successfully defending his dissertation on The Free Negro in North Carolina. From 1937 to 1939 Franklin took a leave of absence from his doctoral studies at Harvard University and returned to Fisk University to work as a professor, in order to repay the loan from Ted Currier.

John Hope Franklin and Emory Johnson the day he receives his PhD, 1941
John Hope Franklin and Emory Johnson the day he receives his PhD, 1941

This series is a part of Duke University’s John Hope Franklin@100: Scholar, Activist, Citizen year-long celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. John Hope Franklin

Submitted by Gloria Ayee, Franklin Research Center Intern

 

ABC’s of John Hope Franklin – (D) Durham

The Franklin family had the pleasure to call Durham home twice in their lives. John Hope first came to Durham to research his PhD dissertation in Duke University’s manuscript department in the late 1930’s. When John Hope was offered a teaching position at the North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University) in 1943, he and Aurelia moved from Raleigh, NC to take jobs. While John Hope worked in the department of history, Aurelia worked as a law librarian at the school. The Franklin’s enjoyed Durham, particularly the bustling African American community but left for Washington DC in 1947.

John Hope and Aurelia Franklin listed in the North Carolina College for Negroes, 1946
John Hope and Aurelia Franklin listed in the yearbook at North Carolina College for Negroes, 1946

In 1980, John Hope Franklin and his wife Aurelia relocated to North Carolina, after he retired from the University of Chicago. Franklin served as a fellow with the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park for one year. In 1982, he joined the faculty at Duke University as the James B. Duke Professor of History, becoming the first Black professor to hold an endowed chair at Duke University. Franklin served as emeritus professor of history from 1985-1995 and Professor of Legal History from 1985-1992.

John Hope Franklin attends Duke University basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, 2000
John Hope Franklin attends Duke University basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, 2000

John Hope became rooted in the Duke and Durham community for the remainder of his life. He served on boards like the Durham Literacy Center, wrote insightful editorials for the Herald-Sun newspaper and Trumpet of Conscience newsletter, and spoke at local events. The John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies was the first academic building named for an African American on Duke University’s campus. The Center, located at the corner of Erwin Road and Trent Drive, opened in 2000.

John Hope Franklin Center Building
John Hope Franklin Center Building

Franklin lived in Durham until his death in 2009.

This series is a part of Duke University’s John Hope Franklin@100: Scholar, Activist, Citizen year-long celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. John Hope Franklin

Submitted by Gloria Ayee, Franklin Research Center Intern

Crazies in Love: A Valentine’s Open House

Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015
Time: 3:30-5:00 PM
Location: Room 217, Perkins Library
Contact: Amy McDonald, amy.mcdonald@duke.edu

Dearest readers and friends, we long to see you on Valentine’s Day. Won’t you please set our hearts a-flutter and come to our Valentine’s Day open house?

Do you fear that you will be too busy penning epistles of undying love to your own beloveds to join us? Ah, but this event is crafted especially for you: we’ll be sharing the most swoon-worthy of love declarations from the Rubenstein Library’s collections, so you may find just the term of endearment you need to woo your mate.

Perhaps a few examples to help the time pass more swiftly until we meet?

We’re charmed by the simplicity of this short note from the scrapbook of Odessa Massey, Class of 1928:

Note from Odessa Massey's scrapbook
From the Odessa Massey Scrapbook, 1924-1928.

Or the more expressive route taken by Francis Warrington Dawson—writing to Sarah Morgan, his future wife–is always sure to succeed:

Letter from Francis Warrington Dawson to Sarah Morgan, February 10, 1873. From the Dawson Family Papers.
Letter from Francis Warrington Dawson to Sarah Morgan, February 10, 1873. From the Francis Warrrington Dawson Family Papers.

“How deeply should I thank God that he has allowed me to know you, which is to love you, for the sun now has a brighter light & the sky a deeper blue. The whole world seems truer & better, & this pilgrim, instead of lingering in the depths, is breasting the healthy difficulties of existence, with his eyes fast fixed on you. Whatever else may fail, believe always in this devoted & unselfish love of Francis Warrington Dawson!”

Or whose heart wouldn’t melt upon receiving this most adorable valentine, from our Postcard Collection:

Valetine, undated. From the Postcard Collection.
Valentine postcard, undated. From the Postcard Collection.

And there might even be tips on how to present yourself when you present your valentine!

Barbasol advetisement, 1944.
Barbasol advetisement, 1944. http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess_BH0643/

 

Have we convinced you yet? What if we mention that there will be chocolate and candy?

Until next Thursday,

Your Rubenstein librarians

Rights! Camera! Action! Presents: “The One Who Builds”

theonewho

Rights! Camera! Action! Presents: “The One Who Builds” (2013)

Directors: Hillary Pierce, Peter Carolla, and Nick Gooler

Total Running Time: 40 minutes

Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2015

Time: 7:00-9:00 PM

Location: Smith Warehouse, Bay 4, FHI Garage

The One Who Builds is a film about the life and work of Dr. Omer Omer, once a Sudanese refugee, now an American citizen who is paying it forward as the director of a refugee resettlement organization.  Through the North Carolina African Services Coalition in Greensboro, Omer has transcended boundaries dictated by society, race and religion to build a new village, one friendship at a time.

Co-Directors Hillary Pierce, Peter Carolla, and North Carolina African Services Coalition Executive Director Million Mekonnen will lead a panel discussion will follow the screening.

Presented by the Duke Human Rights Center@FHI, John Hope Franklin Research Center, Human Rights Archive and Archive of Documentary Arts, Rubenstein Library, and Screen/Society

For more information please contact: John B. Gartrell, 919-660-5922, john.gartrell@duke.edu

ABC’s of John Hope Franklin – (C) Cosmos Club

In 1962, John Hope Franklin became the first African American to be elected a member of the exclusive Cosmos Club.

The Cosmos Club is a private social club in Washington, D.C. that welcomes individuals from the arts, literature, and science. According to Cosmos Club rules, to be considered for membership, an individual must be regarded as “a person of distinction, character and sociability,” must have done meritorious work in the field of art, literature, or science, and have distinguished themselves in their profession, or through public service. Franklin received the Cosmos Club Award in 1994.

JHFpapers_H6_Cosmos_001

In 1995, on the evening before he was to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House, Franklin hosted a celebratory dinner party for some of his friends at the Cosmos Club. Some of his guests had not arrived, and Franklin decided to head to the entrance of the Club to look for them. There, an elderly white woman handed Franklin her coat check and demanded that he fetch her coat. Franklin politely informed her that all the Club’s attendants were uniformed and if she handed one of them her coat check, they would be happy to assist her. In a talk he gave ten years later, Franklin recounted this event as an example of how racist stereotypes and ideologies about the social position of Blacks remained strongly entrenched in American society.

This series is a part of Duke University’s John Hope Franklin@100: Scholar, Activist, Citizen year-long celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. John Hope Franklin

Submitted by Gloria Ayee, Franklin Research Center Intern

ABC’s of John Hope Franklin – (B) Brooklyn College

In 1956, John Hope Franklin was appointed Professor and Chair of the History Department at Brooklyn College, a predominantly White institution. Franklin’s appointment marked the first time that an African American was appointed chair of any department at a traditionally White institution. The New York Times found Franklin’s appointment so newsworthy that on February 15, 1956, they published an announcement with his photograph on the front page. The headline read: “Negro Educator Chosen to Head Department at Brooklyn College. Howard University Professor Will be First of Race to Hold That Rank Here.” The article noted that Franklin was the first African-American chair of any academic department in the New York State college system.

JHF_R7_FranklinPublicityClippings1950s_1_021_crop
Washington Evening Start Article, 1956

Franklin was a professor at Brooklyn College from 1956 to 1964 and served as chairman of the History Department over that period. During his tenure at Brooklyn College, Franklin published three important books: The Militant South, 1800-1860 (1956), Reconstruction after the Civil War (1961), and The Emancipation Proclamation (1963).

JHF_P3_JHFscrapbook_001a_crop
John Hope Franklin describes his experiences living as an African American in Brooklyn. Brooklyn College Newsletter, 1963

After leaving Brooklyn College, Franklin maintained strong ties with the institution. In 1981, he was invited to be the commencement speaker, and in 1990 he delivered the second Charles R. Lawrence II memorial lecture of the Department of Sociology and President’s Office of Brooklyn College.

After Franklin’s death, in an obituary published in The New York Times, Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, one of  Franklin’s former students, said of him: “Having John Hope Franklin at Brooklyn College in the 1960’s was like having a real star in our midst. Students who were lucky enough to get into his class bragged about him from morning until night.”

This series is apart of Duke University’s John Hope Franklin@100: Scholar, Activist, Citizen year-long celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. John Hope Franklin

Submitted by Gloria Ayee, Franklin Research Center Intern

 

ABC’s of John Hope Franklin – (A) Aurelia

Aurelia Whittington and John Hope Franklin first met in 1931 when they were students at Fisk University in Nashville, TN.  Aurelia was introduced to John Hope by his sister, Anne Franklin, who was her classmate. They remained college sweethearts throughout their time together at Fisk. Aurelia and John Hope were married on June 11, 1940.

JHFpapers_p1_002
Aurelia Whittington Franklin, 1950s

Aurelia Elizabeth Whittington was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina in July 1915. Her father, Samuel W. Whittington was a U.S. Postal railroad clerk, and her mother, Bertha Kincaid Whittington, was a piano teacher. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in Goldsboro in 1931, she enrolled as a student at Fisk University, where she majored in English. Following her graduation in 1935, Aurelia taught English in schools around eastern North Carolina, and further pursued her education. She graduated from Hampton Library School in 1939, and later earned a Master’s degree in Library Science from Catholic University.

Aurelia was a devoted homemaker, but also served as John Hope’s adviser and editor, and was often by his side helping him navigate the library stacks when he was doing research.

John Hope and Aurelia Franklin attend a banquet in Durham, NC, 1940s
John Hope and Aurelia Franklin attend a banquet in Durham, NC, 1944

Aurelia and John Hope had one biological son, John Whittington Franklin, in 1952. The couple fostered Bouna Ndiaye, a student from Senegal.

John Hope and Aurelia Franklin in Cambridge, England,1962
John Hope and Aurelia Franklin in Cambridge, England,1962

In her later years, Aurelia faced many health challenges and her husband took an active role in providing care for her. Aurelia passed away in 1999 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

This series is a part of Duke University’s John Hope Franklin@100: Scholar, Activist, Citizen year-long celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. John Hope Franklin.

JHF-Centenary-Logo_final_web

Submitted by Gloria Ayee, Franklin Research Center Intern

Tizhe Lizanguage bizof Lizovers: Carny Latin Reincarnated

While I processed a collection of correspondence between two lovers, a handful of letters stuck out. Martha Simpson, then Martha Eleanor Booker, a young African American woman working on her teaching degree at Elizabeth City Teachers College, had a penchant for writing in code. Paul Simpson, her love interest, did not share the same inclination, but did indulge her in his responses. As I read through the letters, the code used in three of them piqued my curiosity. My search revealed that the code used seems to be a form of carnival Pig Latin, also known as Czarny, Z-Latin, or Carny (Hautzinger 30).

1

Martha first sneaks in her secret code at the closing of a letter from January 10, 1951, with a little taunt, “Ha, ha, I bet you can’t read it.” Paul’s response to this letter, dated January 13, 1951, briefly acknowledges that he, indeed, could read her secret language with the opening line “Dizear Cizheré,” before continuing his letter unencumbered by the extra z’s.

2

But Martha doesn’t give up.  She continues the code in a response from January 17, 1951, written half in this “z-language,” eventually switching back to conventional English.

3

Martha’s next letter clearly was not on pink paper (did you catch that one?), but she did keep on with her code. The secret language was formed by inserting iz after the first consonant, and if there was no consonant present, beginning the word with biz. In linguistic circles, this is known as iz-infixation and has been linked to rap and hip-hop music. Examples include Frankie Smith’s 1981 hits Double Dutch Bus and Slang Thang (or Slizang Thizang), both of which boast the iz-infix in their lyrics. More recent examples include work by Snoop Dogg and Kanye West (Viau 1). But these letters come decades before the iz-infix made it big in music, and the question remains: Where did this secret language come from?

We think the answer is this: carnival slang. Published accounts of Carny go back to 1926 (Russell and Murray 401), well before Martha was writing to Paul. It was a language immersed in the subculture of the carnival, intended to distinguish between outsiders and the true Carnies, given the questionable legality of the carnival. Sarah Hautzinger describes it as a dialect that “rearranges English to make it unintelligible to the unenlightened ear” (32). In Czarny, “a Z-sound is inserted after the first consonant, and if the word begins with a vowel, before the vowel sound, in the first syllable only” (32). This certainly seems a lot like the iz-infixes found in the letters between Martha and Paul. Rumor has it that this carny talk found its way into popular culture years later.

Whether or not their secret language was descended from Z-Latin, the coded (and uncoded) correspondence between Martha and Paul D. Simpson provides an interesting read. Recently acquired by the Rubenstein, these roughly 300 letters detail the love, life, and struggles of a young African American couple on their way to becoming teachers.

For more information on the Martha and Paul D. Simpson Papers, check out the collection guide.

For further reading on Carny Latin and the iz-infix, see:

Hautzinger, Sarah. “Carnival Speech: Making the Jump.” Journal of American Culture, 13: 29–33, 1990. Web. 16 December 2014.

Russell, Carol L. and Thomas E. Murray. “The Life and Death of Carnie.” American Speech, Vol. 79 No. 4: 400-416, 2004. Web. 16 December 2014.

Viau, Joshua. “Introducing English [IZ]-Infixation: Snoop Dogg and bey-[IZ]-ond.” 2006 LSA Summer Meeting, 24 June 2006. Web.  16 December 2014.

Post contributed by Janice Hansen, a Ph.D. student in Germanic Languages &  Literature and Technical Services intern at The Rubenstein. 

Now Accepting Applications for our 2014-2015 Travel Grants

Researchers! The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library is now accepting applications for our 2014-2015 travel grants.SLA2053

The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture,  the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, and the History of Medicine Collections will award up to $1,000 per recipient to fund travel and other expenses related to visiting the Rubenstein Library. The Rubenstein also offers the Eleanore and Harold Jantz Fellowship, a $1500 award for researchers whose work would benefit from use of the Jantz Collections.

The grants are open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, independent scholars, artists, and activists who live more than 100 miles from Durham, NC and whose research projects would benefit from access to collections held by one of the centers.

Please note that the Rubenstein Library will be closed to the public from July 1st, 2015 through August 23rd, 2015, while we relocate to our newly renovated space. These dates are subject to change.

More details—and the grant application—may be found on our grants website. Recipients will be announced in April 2015.

Stanley Nelson Documentary Film Series

The Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Visiting Filmmaker Series will be sponsoring screenings of four films directed by Stanley Nelson prior to his visit to Duke on October 16-18. Co-sponsors of the series are the Archive of Documentary Arts, Center for Documentary Studies, Franklin Research Center, Screen/Society and the Program in Arts of the Moving Image. Voter registration will be available before and after the screenings. Each screening begins at 7:00pm and is free and open to the public.

 

Emmett Till_cropDate: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Location: Richard White Lecture Hall, Duke University East Campus

Film: The Murder of Emmett Till

Introduction by Mike Wiley, past Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

jonestown2_crop2Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Location: Griffith Theatre, Duke University West Campus

Film: Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple

 

 

 A Place of our Own2_crop2Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014

Location: Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Old Fayetteville St, Durham, NC 27701

Film: A Place of Our Own

 

 

freedom summer_mini_cropDate: Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Location: Durham Public Library, Main Branch, 300 Roxboro Street, Durham, NC 27701

Film: Freedom Summer

Discussion will be lead by SNCC veteran and Visiting Activist Scholar, Charlie Cobb

 

Post contributed by John B. Gartrell, director John Hope Franklin Research Center