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Originating as three lectures delivered at the U. of Missouri in April 1992 (just one day after the "not guilty" verdict was returned in the trial of Los Angeles police officers in the beating of Rodney King), distinguished historian Franklin reflects on the most tragic and persistent social problem in American history-- racism.
The Emancipation Proclamation is the most important document of arguably the greatest president in U.S. history. Now, Edna Greene Medford, Frank J. Williams, and Harold Holzer -- eminent experts in their fields -- remember, analyze, and interpret the Emancipation Proclamation in three distinct respects: the influence of and impact upon African Americans; the legal, political, and military exigencies; and the role pictorial images played in establishing the document in public memory. The result is a carefully balanced yet provocative study that views the proclamation and its author from the perspective of fellow Republicans, antiwar Democrats, the press, the military, the enslaved, free blacks, and the antislavery white establishment, as well as the artists, publishers, sculptors, and their patrons who sought to enshrine Abraham Lincoln and his decree of freedom in iconography.Medford places African Americans, the people most affected by Lincoln's edict, at the center of the drama rather than at the periphery, as previous studies have done. She argues that blacks interpreted the proclamation much more broadly than Lincoln intended it, and during the postwar years and into the twentieth century they became disillusioned by the broken promise of equality and the realities of discrimination, violence, and economic dependence. Williams points out the obstacles Lincoln overcame in finding a way to confiscate property -- enslaved humans -- without violating the Constitution. He suggests that the president solidified his reputation as a legal and political genius by issuing the proclamation as Commander-in-Chief, thus taking the property under the pretext of military necessity. Holzer explores how it was only after Lincoln's assassination that the Emancipation Proclamation became an acceptable subject for pictorial celebration. Even then, it was the image of the martyr-president as the great emancipator that resonated in public memory, while any reference to those African Americans most affected by the proclamation was stripped away.This multilayered treatment reveals that the proclamation remains a singularly brave and bold act -- brilliantly calculated to maintain the viability of the Union during wartime, deeply dependent on the enlightened voices of Lincoln's contemporaries, and owing a major debt in history to the image-makers who quickly and indelibly preserved it.
John Hope Franklin has devoted his professional life to the study of African Americans. Originally published in 1943 by UNC Press, The Free Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860 was his first book on the subject. As Franklin shows, freed slaves in the antebellum South did not enjoy the full rights of citizenship. Even in North Carolina, reputedly more liberal than most southern states, discriminatory laws became so harsh that many voluntarily returned to slavery.
From Slavery to Freedom remains the most revered, respected, and honored text on the market. The preeminent history of African Americans, this best-selling text charts the journey of African Americans from their origins in Africa, through slavery in the Western Hemisphere, struggles for freedom in the West Indies, Latin America, and the United States, various migrations, and the continuing quest for racial equality. Building on John Hope Franklin's classic work, the ninth edition has been thoroughly rewritten by the award-winning scholar Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. It includes new chapters and updated information based on the most current scholarship. With a new narrative that brings intellectual depth and fresh insight to a rich array of topics, the text features greater coverage of ancestral Africa, African American women, differing expressions of protest, local community activism, black internationalism, civil rights and black power, as well as the election of our first African American president in 2008.
This book traces Franklin's forty-year quest for Williams's story, a story largely lost to history until this volume was first published in 1985. The result, part biography and part social history, is a unique consideration of a pioneering historian by his most distinguished successor. Williams (1849-1891), had a remarkable career as soldier, minister, journalist, lawyer, politician, freelance diplomat, and African traveler, as well as a historian. While Franklin reveals the accomplishments of this neglected figure and emphasizes the racism that curtailed Williams's many talents, he also highlights the personal weaknesses that damaged Williams's relationships and career.
John Hope Franklin lived through America's most defining 20th Century transformation -- the dismantling of legally-protected racial segregation. He was and remains, an active participant. Born in 1915, he, like every other African American, could not but participate: he was evicted from whites-only train cars, confined to segregated schools, threatened-once with lynching-and consistently met with racism's denigration of his humanity. He has reshaped the way African American history is understood and taught and become one of the world's most celebrated historians, garnering over 130 honorary degrees. But Franklin's participation was much more fundamental than that. From his effort in 1934 to hand President Franklin Roosevelt a petition calling for action in response to the Cordie Cheek lynching, to his 1997 appointment by President Clinton to head the President's Initiative on Race, and continuing to the present, Franklin has influenced with determination and dignity the nation's racial conscience. Whether aiding Thurgood Marshall's preparation for arguing Brown v. Board in 1954, marching to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965, or testifying against Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987, Franklin has pushed the national conversation on race towards humanity and equality, a life-long effort that earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1995.
The essays are presented thematically and include pieces on southern history, significant but neglected historical figures, historiography, the connection between historical problems and contemporary issues, and the public role of the historian. His career has spanned a half century and in many ways parallels the emergence of Afro-American history as a legitimate area of inquiry.
Reconstruction after the Civil War has been praised for cutting through the controversial scholarship and popular myths of the time to provide an accurate account of the role of former slaves during this period in American history.
Reconstruction after the Civil War explores the role of former slaves during this period in American history. Looking past popular myths and controversial scholarship, John Hope Franklin uses his astute insight and careful research to provide an accurate, comprehensive portrait of the era. His arguments concerning the brevity of the North's occupation, the limited power wielded by former slaves, the influence of moderate southerners, the flawed constitutions of the radical state governments, and the downfall of Reconstruction remain compelling today. This new edition of Reconstruction after the Civil War also includes a foreword by Eric Foner and a perceptive essay by Michael W. Fitzgerald.
A sweeping panorama of plantation life before the Civil War, this book reveals that slaves frequently rebelled against their masters and ran away from their plantations whenever they could.
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