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The John Hope Franklin Scholars Program Is Thriving

John Hope Franklin was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 1998, one year after celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of his literary landmark, From Slavery to Freedom. A longtime professor of history at Duke University, among other academic institutions, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 1995.

In 2009, the Duke University Office of Durham and Community Affairs—working with Durham Public Schools—established the John Hope Franklin Scholars Program, where, in honor of the program’s namesake, middle and high school students become “historian adventurers.” The program begins each summer with a one-week intensive and continues with field trips and monthly meetings throughout the school year.

For example, in 2014, students wrote the book Running for Hope about the life of John Hope Franklin. In 2020, UNC University Libraries welcomed a group of young scholars eager to learn more about the history of medicine, with a special focus on medical history in North Carolina.

The program is run by David Stein, Senior Educational and PepsiCo Program Coordinator.

Although From Slavery to Freedom is his best-known work, Franklin was a prolific author. In 1990, a collection of essays covering a teaching and writing career of fifty years was published under the title Race and History: Selected Essays, 1938-1988. In 1993, he published The Color Line: Legacy for the Twenty-First Century. His most recent book, My Life and an Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin, is an autobiography of his father that he edited with his son, John Whittington Franklin.

For more information about the John Hope Franklin Scholars program, click here. For more information about John Hope Franklin, click here.

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