Item Details

Interview With John Hope Franklin

Elwood, William A
Online; Online Video; Video
2006; 1985-11-23
Part one. Civil rights activist and history professor John Hope Franklin did historical research for the Brown v. Board of Education cases. He wrote opposition papers, vetted briefs for historical accuracy, and answered history questions from the lawyers. He describes the slow development of state segregation policies and laws, the 14th amendment and schools, the political climate regarding race issues in the late 19th century, and the suppression of African American voters in the South. Part two. Mr. Franklin describes the suppression of African Americans in the South via state legislation. He talks about the elaborate disenfranchisement of African Americans using restrictions regarding real estate, literacy, voting, etc. He mentions Plessy v. Ferguson, the Oklahoma State Constitution of 1915, and the cases about election primaries during the 1920s. Part three. Mr. Franklin contends that the irregular application of Jim Crow laws allowed the system of segregation to be challenged. He says that Brown defending attorney John W. Davis, like other complacent segregationists, expected to win the Brown case because he believed that everybody accepted the naturalness and permanence of a separate society. Mr. Franklin discusses Charles Houston and his legacy. Mr. Franklin tells the story about segregation in higher education in Oklahoma. Part four. Mr. Franklin recounts his participation in the Lyman Johnson case. Franklin says that Brown was a reaffirmation of the national ideal of equality, but like the framers of the 14th amendment, the Supreme Court escaped having to enforce the ideal. Mr. Franklin tells about his experiences as a field researcher in 1934 for the Fisk University/Charles S. Johnson study of the tenancy of African American cotton farmers in Texas and Mississippi.
Elwood, William A
Franklin, John Hope, 1915-2009
Digitized by: Cincinnati, Ohio : The PPS Group, 2006.
Source footage for the documentary, The road to Brown : the untold story of “the man who killed Jim Crow” (California Newsreel, 1990), about the life of Charles Hamilton Houston, his crusade for civil rights, and the events that led to Brown v. the Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared the doctrine of separate but equal to be illegal.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Recorded at North Carolina.
William A. Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project
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Road to Brown : the untold story of "the man who killed Jim Crow."
William A. Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project
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