Insomuch as I am still an academic, I want to acknowledge the life and legacy of John Hope Franklin. His influence and respect are unparalleled both within the field of history and in related fields. His seminal work, From Slavery to Freedom, should be required reading for every single American. I am in awe of his long life and important work.
Franklin's study of history testifies that history is made by those whose lives tell the story. Every day men and women are going about their lives, living well and living poorly. Historians like Franklin remind us that those stories matter, especially to the parents, spouses, siblings, and children whose futures--history in progress--will never be the same after they are gone.