February 28, 2007 John Hope Franklin, Winner of 2006 Kluge Prize, to Lecture at Library of Congress on March 6
Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692
Distinguished historian John Hope Franklin, recipient of the 2006 John W. Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanity, will present a lecture titled “Where Do We Go from Here” at the Library of Congress on March 6, focusing on pressing domestic and foreign policy issues.
Sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, the lecture will be at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.
Franklin, who shared the $1 million 2006 Kluge Prize with Chinese historian Yu Ying-shih, helped redirect the social and political course of the United States throughout the 20th century. He is the author and editor of 18 books, including the best-selling “From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans.” Much of the research for his recently published autobiography, “Mirror to America” was done while he was a Distinguished Senior Visiting Scholar at the Library’s Kluge Center in 2001.
Franklin graduated from Fisk University in 1935 and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1941. After teaching at several institutions, including Howard University, in 1956 he went to Brooklyn College as chairman of the Department of History, the first such appointment of an African-American in the country. In 1964, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, serving as chairman of the Department of History from 1967 to 1970. He completed his academic career at Duke University as the James B. Duke Professor of History and for seven years served as a professor of legal history.
In 1953, Franklin helped Thurgood Marshall and the Legal Defense Fund successfully reargue Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine and required the desegregation of schools across America. For interventions regarding American racism, for his academic achievements and for numerous acts of public service, Franklin has received many honors, including the Jefferson Medal (1984), the Charles Frankel Prize for contributions to the humanities (1993) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995). He has received honorary degrees from more than 130 colleges and universities.
Through the years, Franklin has served on many national commissions and delegations, including the National Council on the Humanities and the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Most recently, in 1997 President Clinton appointed Professor Franklin as chair of the President’s Initiative on Race, which sought to improve the national dialogue on race.
The Kluge Prize, given to Franklin and Yu on Dec. 5, 2006, rewards lifetime achievement in the wide range of disciplines not covered by the Nobel prizes, including history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, criticism in the arts and humanities and linguistics.