Racism Through the Lens of John Hope Franklin

New series inspired by the late Duke professor examines racial inequality and structural racism

A new series of virtual events inspired by the legacy of John Hope Franklin will address structural racism against people of African descent.

“Global Anti-Racism (histories of action)” is part of Duke Center for International and Global Studies’ (DUCIGS) and the John Hope Franklin Center’s signature series “Wednesdays at the Center” and will kick off August 26.

“For many years now, Wednesdays at the Center has brought scholars, students, artists, journalists, and community members to the John Hope Franklin Center to talk informally about their work,” said Giovanni Zanalda, DUCIGS director. “The 2020/21 edition will answer the call by President Price and the whole Duke community to build a more inclusive and equal institution.”

Franklin was a leading figure in the field of African-American history, American race relations and Southern regional history. His book “From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans,” is still used in college courses more than 50 years after its publication.

“The series will be virtual and specially focused on the life and scholarship of Dr. Franklin, a Duke professor whose career was defined by histories — and personal experience — of discrimination and racism,” said Miguel Rojas-Sotelo, who is coordinating this year’s series. “Dr. Franklin’s breadth of interests and appointments made him a truly global citizen who championed the cause of inequality around the world.”

Duke opened the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies in 2001, where Franklin held an office until his death in 2009.

The new series will run from August 26 until the end of the fall semester, resuming after the winter break. The program will invite scholars to introduce the work of John Hope Franklin and show some of his archival footage. The August 26 kick off will feature several speakers: John Gartrell, director of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African American and African American History and Culture; student Ryan Williams (political science, T’21); and Rojas-Sotelo of DUCIGS.

The event will stream two videos featuring Dr. John Hope Franklin: ‘The Black Wall Street (The Tulsa Riots and the Greenwood Experiences)’ and ‘Lessons from My Father.’

Check out the Wednesdays at the Center website to read the series’ concept statement and learn more about the upcoming events.