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First Person Singular: John Hope Franklin (1997)

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a remarkable portrait of a remarkable man
14 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I understand PBS will shortly be releasing this film in DVD, a welcome move to ensure it a long shelf-life.

John Hope Franklin is now 91, and still working and writing! He was a trailblazer in approaching African-American history with the tools of disciplined historiography, devoid of sentimentality. He has been president of not only the American Historical Association and the Association of American Historians, but remarkably of the Southern Historical Association, which he was the first black historian that formerly lilly-white body invited to address its convention. This film reveals not only his achievements and life time of struggle, but also his bouyant personality, since he provides most of the narration (with blanks filled in by the late Charles Kuralt). This film is an important addition to our understanding of the long journey of black Americans to take their deserved place in American intellectual life.


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