John Hope Franklin to Speak at Yale

John Hope Franklin, renowned historian of the African-American experience and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, will deliver a public lecture at Yale University on April 1 at 11:30 a.m. in Room 120 of the Yale Law School, 127 Wall Street.

The lecture is free and open to the community.

Franklin’s talk is the keynote address of the third annual Bouchet Conference on Diversity in Graduate Education, titled “Working Towards a New Vision of the 21st Century University: Promoting Diversity and Excellence in Research, Teaching and Learning Within the Academy.” This national conference, March 31–April 1, is sponsored by the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Science’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.

On the occasion of his talk, Franklin will receive Yale’s Bouchet Leadership Award Medal. The conference and award are named for Edward A. Bouchet, the Yale College and Graduate School alumnus who was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from an American university as well as the sixth American to earn a doctorate in physics. Previous recipients of the Bouchet leadership Award Medal include Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University; Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Cecil Pickett, president of Schering-Plough Research Institute; Yale professors Curtis Patton and Dieter Soll; and John Pepper, former vice president of Yale and current chief executive officer of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Franklin is the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University. After receiving his Ph.D. in history from Harvard, he taught for more than 50 years at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, including Fisk, Howard, Brooklyn College and the University of Chicago.

A prolific author, he is best-known for his “From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans,” originally published in 1947 and now in its seventh edition. His most recent book is “Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin,” published in 2005, and other publications include “The Emancipation Proclamation,” “The Militant South” and “A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Ante-bellum North.”

Active in professional and educational organizations, Franklin has served as President of the American Studies Association, the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa and the American Historical Association.  He has also served on national commissions and delegations, including the President’s Advisory Commission on Ambassadorial Appointments under President Bill Clinton.

Among his many honors, in 1989 he was the first recipient of the Cleanth Brooks Medal of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and in 1990 he was awarded the Encyclopedia Britannica Gold Medal for the Dissemination of Knowledge. In 1995, he received the first W.E.B. DuBois Award from the Fisk University Alumni Association, the Organization of American Historians’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian award, given in recognition of his contribution to Civil Rights. In 1997, he chaired the Advisory Board for the President’s Initiative on Race. He has received honorary degrees from more than 100 colleges and universities.

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