We are in the middle of processing the John Hope Franklin Papers, and it has been inspiring to see Franklin’s wide range of intellectual interests and community engagements. He was a very busy man! One recent discovery, mixed in with folded programs and family correspondence, is Franklin’s “Grownup School List,” an all-encompassing list he created of must-reads in African American history. Always a humble scholar, he omitted his own monumental works. We’ve reproduced the Grownup School List here, along with Franklin’s annotations. You can find all of these books, along with Franklin’s own extensive scholarship, online or in the Duke Libraries.
- Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855). “A remarkable work by a former slave who became a leading thinker and activist in post-Emancipation America.”
- W.E.B. DuBois, Souls of Black Folk (1903). “This classic clearly delineates the utter frustration of African Americans who attempt to adjust to the American racial jungle.”
- George Washington Williams, A History of the Negro Race in America, 1619-1880 (2 volumes, 1882). “The very first comprehensive, scholarly treatment of the subject. A remarkable feat!”
- Leon Litwack, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery (1979). “One of the few works that corrects the myths about the post-slavery years.”
- Darlene Clark Hine, Black Women in America (1993). “A comprehensive biographical tool providing topic information on notable African American women.”
- Kenneth Stampp, The Peculiar Institution (1956). “A remarkable book that deromanticizes slavery in the United States. One of the pioneer works undertaking to refute the apologists for slavery.”
- Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944). “In many ways this is the most comprehensive treatment of the nexus of race and American social, economics, and political institutions in the post World War II years.”
- C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence H. Mamiya, The Black Church in the African American Experience (1998). “Is perhaps the most comprehensive examination of this major institution in African American life.”
- August Meier and Elliott Rudwick, Black History and the Historical Profession (1986). “A remarkable history and analysis of the way in which African American history has affected historians and their craft.”
- A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., In the Matter of Color: Race and the American Legal Process (1978). “A comprehensive treatment of the encounter of race and American law. A sequel is his Shades of Freedom: Racial Politics and Presumptions of the American Legal Process, 1996.”
Post contributed by Meghan Lyon, Technical Services Archivist. This is the second in a series of posts on interesting documents in our collections to celebrate Black History Month.