Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is a publishing house located in New York. The company was founded by Alfred A. Knopf, Sr. in 1915, was acquired by Random House in 1960, and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
Alfred A. Knopf published John Hope Franklin’s seminal work, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans in 1947. In 1945, John Hope Franklin wrote to Knopf to see if the publisher would be interested in his project on the Martial South. On December 13, 1945, Robert Shugg, editor of the College Department replied that Knopf’s interest in the project would require an outline to see if the project was appealing to them. But in the second part of his letter, Shugg asked if Franklin would be interested in writing a history of the Negro. Franklin’s initial response was lukewarm, as his interests were primarily in the history of the American South. But correspondence between the two continued over a number of months until Franklin agreed to Knopf’s proposal.
In six months, Franklin wrote the first five chapters of his work under the title “The American Negro: A History.” Robert Shugg noted, “It promises to be a book of genuine distinction, not only as a useful text but as an interesting and authoritative reference work for a good many years to come.” Even with modest sales of the first edition, Knopf contracted an updated second edition for printing in 1954. The burgeoning civil rights movement spawned a global interest in the history of African Americans, and From Slavery to Freedom served as a guide to understanding the changes taking place in America. Knopf continued publication of the work through it’s 8th edition.
Established in 1972, the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities is the highest honor that the United States federal government confers on an individual for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.
In 1976, The National Endowment for the Humanities invited John Hope Franklin to be the fifth Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities. Franklin gave three lectures as part of the series; the first lecture was given in Washington, D.C., the second in Chicago, and the final lecture was in San Francisco.
Incidentally, Franklin received the invitation to give his lectures during the same year as the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin’s three lectures focused not only on Thomas Jefferson, but also on the topic of “Racial Equality in America.” The first lecture was titled “The Dream Deferred” and focused on the period from the revolution to 1820. The second lecture was titled “The Old Order Changeth Not” and explored the 19th century. The third lecture was titled “Equality Indivisible” and discussed events and issues of the 20th century.
In a scathing critique of Thomas Jefferson, Franklin highlighted the differences between perceptions and reality in some commonly held beliefs about race by using government texts and extensive data from the Census, property documents, as well as other sources.
Franklin’s lectures for the Jefferson lecture series were compiled and published in the book Racial Equality in America. The book was published by the University of Missouri Press in 1976.
John Hope Franklin and his wife Aurelia lived in the state of Illinois, specifically in Chicago, for several years. In 1964, Franklin joined the faculty at the University of Chicago, where he served as Chair of the History Department from 1967-1970, and was the John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor from 1969-1982, he became Professor Emeritus in 1982.
During his tenure at the University of Chicago, Franklin published Color and Race (1969), and Illustrated History of Black Americans (1970), Racial Equality in America and Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Antebellum North (1976). Franklin also served as advisor to over twenty PhD graduates from the department of history, including noted scholars Genna Rae McNeil, Paul Finkelman, Juliet E.K. Walker, Loren Schweninger, and Alfred Moss.
Franklin was also entrenched in the community, working on boards and committees of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Urban League and NAACP, and DuSable Museum.
In 1984, four years after John Hope Franklin moved back to Durham, NC, Franklin received the Illinois Humanities Council Public Humanities Award. This annual award is presented to an organization or an individual who has made significant contributions to the civic and cultural life of the State of Illinois through the humanities.
The Rubenstein Library’s research centers annually award travel grants to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars through a competitive application process. Congratulations—we look forward to sharing our collections with you!
History of Medicine Research Grants
Lindsey Beal, MFA, for photographic research on late nineteenth and early twentieth century obstetric and gynecological instruments.
Elaine LaFay, PhD candidate in History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania, for dissertation work on “Weathered Bodies, Sickly Lands: Climate, Health, and Place in the Antebellum Gulf South.”
Jaipreet Virdi-Dhesi, PhD, for work on “Deafness is Misery: Advertised Cures for Hearing Loss in Early 20th Century America.”
John Hope Franklin Center for African and African-American History and Culture Research Grants
Wangui Muigai, Princeton University, “An Awful Gladness: Infant Mortality and Race from Slavery to the Great Migration”
Jessica Parr, University of New Hampshire at Manchester, “’Saved from My Pagan Land:’ the Role of Religion in Self-Making in the Black Atlantic, 1660-1820.”
Whitney Stewart, Rice University, “Domestic Activism: The Politics of the Black Home in Nineteenth-Century America”
Brandon Winford, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, “Building New South Prosperity: John Hervey Wheeler, Black Banking, and the Economic Struggle for Civil Rights”
John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History Research Grants
Dana Alsen, Department of History, University of Alabama, “Changing Patterns of Food Consumption in North Carolina, 1945-1989”
Dr. Makeda Best, Dept. of Visual Studies, California College of the Arts, “Sensing Memory: Kodak Cameras, Class, the Haptic, and the Labor of Memory in Late Nineteenth Century America”
Cari Casteel, History of Technology, Auburn University, “The Odor of Things: Deodorant, Gender, and Olfaction in the United States, 1888-2010”
Dr. Victoria Greive, Dept. of History, Utah State University, “Childhood and the Ideology of Domestic Security: Advertising During the Cold War”
Kira Lussier, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, “Managing Your Self: Personality Testing in Corporate America, 1960-present”
Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, Visiting Scholar, Institute of Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Columbia University, “Ad Women in a (Mad)Men World: Negotiating Gender in the Advertising Business 1910-1930”
Dr. Rebecca Sheehan, United States Studies Center, University of Sydney, “The Rise of the Superwoman: How Sex Remade Gender in America’s Long 1970s”
Dr. Mark Tadajewski, Professor of Marketing, Durham University, “Jean Kilbourne: Recalling the Contributions of a Feminist Critic of Advertising”
Seth Tannenbaum, Department of History, Temple University, “Take Me Out…To the Concession Stand: Baseball, Food, and Citizenship in the Twentieth Century”
Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, Mary Lily Research Grants
Meaghan Beadle, Ph.D. candidate, history, University of Virginia, “This is What a Feminist Looks Like! Photography and Feminism, 1968-1980.”
Hanne Blank, Ph.D. candidate, history, Emory University, “Southern Women, Feminist Health: Activist Health Service and Communities of Radical Conscience in the Southeastern U.S., 1968-1990.”
Samantha Bryant, Ph.D. candidate, history, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, “‘Black Monster Stalks the City’: The Thomas Wansley Case and the Racialized Cultural Landscape of the American Prison Industrial Complex, 1960 – 1975.”
Jaime Cantrell, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, The Sarah Isom Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Mississippi, “Southern Sapphisms: Race, Sexuality, and Sociality in Literary Productions, 1968-1994.”
Ariel Dougherty, Independent scholar, for book research on film teaching programs for young women, women of color, and queer women.
Anne Gray Fischer, Ph.D. candidate, history, Brown University, for dissertation research on the politics of prostitution in the US from 1960s – 1980s.
Anna Iones, Ph.D. candidate, English language and literature, University of Virginia, “Shocking Violence, Contested Consent: The Feminist Avant-garde from Kathy Acker to Riot Grrrl.”
Catherine Jacquet, Assistant Professor, history, Louisiana State University, Responding to Rape: Contesting the Meanings of Sexual Violence in the United States, 1950-1980.
Whitney Stewart, Ph.D. candidate, history, Rice University, “Domestic Activism: The Politics of the Black Home in Nineteenth-Century America.”
Mary Whitlock, Ph.D. candidate, sociology, University of South Florida, “Examining Forty Years Of The Social Organization Of Feminisms: Ethnography Of Two Women’s Bookstores In the US South.”
Leah Wilson, Master’s student, English, Iowa State University, “Fleeing the Double Bind: Subverting the ‘White Trash’ Label through Female Solidarity and Erotic Power in Dorothy Allison’s Cavedweller.”
George Washington Williams was an accomplished African American intellectual, minister, historian, journalist, lawyer, politician, freelance diplomat, and Civil War veteran. Williams was born in Pennsylvania in 1849 and died in England in 1891.
Williams joined the Union army during the Civil War at age 14, after lying about his age. After receiving a medical discharge from the army in 1868, Williams, who was barely literate, enrolled in the Newton Theological Institution in Massachusetts. He went on to be a prolific preacher and politician in Ohio, among his many other notable professional achievements.
In 1885, Williams wrote a two volume book entitled, A History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. The book was not wildly acclaimed or reviewed at the time, and John Hope Franklin first encountered Williams’ work while researching From Slavery to Freedom: A History of the Negro in America. Having never heard of Williams or his book, Franklin determined to write a scholarly work about one of the first African American historians.
John Hope Franklin’s book George Washington Williams: A Biography was first published in 1985 by the University of Chicago. Franklin was awarded the Clarence L. Holte Literary Prize for this work. The book traces the life of George Washington Williams from his birth until his death. It is part biography and part social history, and highlights Franklin’s own quest to uncover Williams’ story. In fact, the publication of this book marked the conclusion of a four decade long pursuit for Franklin.
George Washington Williams gravesite remained unmarked until 1975, when Franklin arranged for a tombstone to be placed over the grave.
From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans is widely considered to be the most authoritative, definitive, and comprehensive accounts of African American history. The book traces the history of African Americans from their origins in Africa, to their experiences as slaves in the Western Hemisphere, patterns of migration and demographic changes, as well as the continuing struggle for racial equality in the United States.
From Slavery to Freedom has been translated into Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Portuguese, and over three million copies have been sold. The book has remained in print since it was first published by the Alfred A. Knopf publishing company in 1947. From Slavery to Freedom is the seminal text on Black history in the United States, and the book is credited with playing an important role in the creation of African-American Studies as an academic discipline.
The last edition of From Slavery to Freedom was co-authored by John Hope Franklin and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
Or the more expressive route taken by Francis Warrington Dawson—writing to Sarah Morgan, his future wife–is always sure to succeed:
“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:
And there might even be tips on how to present yourself when you present your valentine!
Have we convinced you yet? What if we mention that there will be chocolate and candy?
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University