Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin

Front Cover
Macmillan, Apr 15, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
29 Reviews

John Hope Franklin lived through America's most defining twentieth-century transformation, the dismantling of legally protected racial segregation. A renowned scholar, he has explored that transformation in its myriad aspects, notably in his 3.5-million-copy bestseller, From Slavery to Freedom. Born in 1915, he, like every other African American, could not help but participate: he was evicted from whites-only train cars, confined to segregated schools, threatened--once with lynching--and consistently subjected to racism's denigration of his humanity. Yet he managed to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard; become the first black historian to assume a full professorship at a white institution, Brooklyn College; and be appointed chair of the University of Chicago's history department and, later, John B. Duke Professor at Duke University. He has reshaped the way African American history is understood and taught and become one of the world's most celebrated historians, garnering over 130 honorary degrees. But Franklin's participation was much more fundamental than that.


From his effort in 1934 to hand President Franklin Roosevelt a petition calling for action in response to the Cordie Cheek lynching, to his 1997 appointment by President Clinton to head the President's Initiative on Race, and continuing to the present, Franklin has influenced with determination and dignity the nation's racial conscience. Whether aiding Thurgood Marshall's preparation for arguing Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, marching to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965, or testifying against Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987, Franklin has pushed the national conversation on race toward humanity and equality, a life long effort that earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1995. Intimate, at times revelatory, Mirror to America chronicles Franklin's life and this nation's racial transformation in the twentieth century, and is a powerful reminder of the extent to which the problem of America remains the problem of color.

 

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Review: Mirror to America

User Review  - Goodreads

A great man! I got to hear, what would turn out to be, the last speech he ever gave in late 2008. This book seems to be a very expanded (to nearly 400 pages) cv. Read full review

Review: Mirror to America

User Review  - Lisa - Goodreads

A great man! I got to hear, what would turn out to be, the last speech he ever gave in late 2008. This book seems to be a very expanded (to nearly 400 pages) cv. Read full review

Contents

1 No Crystal Stair
3
2 The World of My Youth
9
3 From Rentiesville to TTown
23
4 The Gold and Blue
39
5 Fair Harvard
58
6 A Published Author
73
7 Newly Minted
90
8 Days of Infamy
103
18 The Uses of History
223
19 Students RightsCivil Rights
236
20 Town and Gown and Beyond
249
21 Family Matters
259
22 Reaching a Larger American Public
267
23 Winding DownSomewhat
278
24 A Whole New Life
293
25 A Duke Affair
307

9 From Slavery to Freedom
122
10 A Hilltop High
138
11 Legacies
152
12 A Change of Venue
164
13 On Becoming New Yorkers
174
14 Way Down Under
184
15 Glimpses of the Motherland
190
16 Hail Britannia
202
17 Points West
212
26 Matters of Life and Death
318
27 Honorable Mention
329
28 One America
342
29 A Conversation Stalled
357
30 In Sickness and in Health
365
Through a Looking Glass
373
Index
383
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

John Hope Franklin is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University. He has received dozens of major awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his life-long commitment to Civil Rights.

Bibliographic information