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02.19.21

John Hope Franklin: Redefining the American Story

February 19, 2021, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM EST

How we write history is often reflective of the viewpoints of the elite few who hold the pen – until the conventional narrative is challenged by inspired individuals. Join us as we explore the life and legacy of celebrated historian, scholar, activist, author, and Fulbright alumnus, Dr. John Hope Franklin. Dr. Franklin was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar to the United Kingdom in 1954 and to Australia in 1960. He was also a Distinguished Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Venezuela in 1973, Zimbabwe in 1986, and Brazil in 1987. In addition to his grants, Dr. Franklin served as a member of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board from 1962-1969 and Chair from 1966-69.

Moderated by African American Studies professor and Fulbright alumna Dr. Kalenda Eaton, we will explore Dr. Franklin’s life, including his pivotal work, “From Slavery to Freedom” (1947), which forever cemented the integral role of Black Americans in U.S. history. The panelists for this event are historian and son of Dr. Franklin, John Whittington Franklin, and Fulbright alumna, American Studies professor, and former personal assistant to Dr. Franklin, Dr. Nishani Frazier.

John Whittington Franklin has specialized in the history and culture of Africa and its Diaspora for the past 50 years with the Smithsonian Institution and in varied projects around the world. Since his retirement from the Smithsonian in 2019, John Franklin established Franklin Global LLC, to continue to lecture on cultural issues and consult with cultural and educational institutions. He currently serves on the French President’s Commission for the Memory of Slavery and the Slave Trade. He works closely with UNESCO’s Slave Route Project, developing conferences on the contemporary impact of slavery. For the past several years, he has focused on the legacy of slavery at American universities and is currently advising Davidson College’s Race and Slavery Commission.

Dr. Nishani Frazier is Associate Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Kansas and a 2016 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Norway. Prior to the University of Kansas, she held positions as Associate Professor in the Department of History at Miami University of Ohio, Associate Curator of African American History and Archives at Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS), Assistant to the Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Archives at the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and personal assistant for Dr. John Hope Franklin, before and during his tenure as chair of President Bill Clinton’s advisory board on “One America.”

Dr. Kalenda Eaton is an Associate Professor in the Clara Luper Department of African & African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma and a 2016 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Canada. Her areas of research and teaching include 20th and 21st century Africana Literatures, the Black American West, Women’s Studies, and African American Cultural History and Theory. For over ten years, she has traveled with students across Africa and the Western Hemisphere and is active in developing education abroad programs. Her recent publications can be found in “American Studies Journal,” “Teaching Western American Literature,” and “Africa Today.”