John Hope Franklin was born in 1915 to an America still divided by race. Throughout his childhood and early education, his mother and father taught him the value of service, discipline, and hard work as the best way to rise above discrimination. He grew up to become one of this nation's most respected African American scholars.
Today, Dick Gordon talks with John Hope Franklin about the stories that have shaped him as a person and influenced his views of American history.
At the start of World War II, Dr. Franklin was turned away at a Navy recruitment center for being the wrong color. His brother, Buck, was drafted and endured debilitating racism in the Army. Looking back, Dr. Franklin sees how experiences like these have made him ambivalent about his country. In the end, he believes that American society will grow only if it learns to confront its past.
See a documentary made about Dr. Franklin.
Learn more about the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University