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Yes. I'm listening to a interview with him recorded a few years ago right now -- in which he told about at age 5 getting kicked off a train with his mother in woods, far outside of a town, because they were black and -- his mother was a teacher who often took him with her to her classroom, telling him to be quiet. He was quiet but listened to her teaching the students and she was surprised to find that at age 3, he'd learned to read and write.

Obviously very bright -- and influential man.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- John Hope Franklin, a towering scholar and pioneer of African-American studies who wrote the seminal text on the black experience in the U.S. and worked on the landmark Supreme Court case that outlawed public school segregation, died Wednesday. He was 94.

David Jarmul, a spokesman at Duke University, where Franklin taught for a decade and was professor emeritus of history, said he died of congestive heart failure at the school's hospital in Durham.

Born and raised in an all-black community in Oklahoma where he was often subjected to humiliating racism, Franklin was later instrumental in bringing down the legal and historical validations of such a world.

As an author, his book ''From Slavery to Freedom'' was a landmark integration of black history into American history that remains relevant more than 60 years after being published. As a scholar, his research helped Thurgood Marshall and his team at the NAACP win Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 case that barred the doctrine of ''separate but equal'' in the nation's public schools.


Read the rest here: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/03/25/us/AP-Obit-Franklin.html?em


 

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A great man and a life well lived. I heard JHF speak a couple of times and met him quite by accident in a grocery store in Durham many years ago. It was one of the few times I've been truly tongue-tied.
 
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