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In its visiting scholars series WB O.E. presents a visit with an historian and writer part two. The visiting scholars program of the Cleveland public schools was developed under the direction of Superintendent Paul Briggs and was designed to bring teachers and students into direct personal contact with outstanding scholars. When you are here the second of two interviews with Dr. John Hope Franklin professor of American history at the University of Chicago. He is a nationally known historian specializing in the area of post-Civil War Reconstruction and the history of the American Negro. He has taught at Fisk University St. Augustine's college North Carolina college at Durham Howard University and in 1056 he big came chairman of the Department of History at Brooklyn College. In 1980 Dr. Franklin was Fulbright professor at several Australian universities and in the same year he went to Nigeria for the Department of State to study higher education in that country. In 1062 63 he was part professor of American history and
institutions at Cambridge University and a fellow of St. John's College Cambridge. Among Dr. Franklin's many publications are. The free negro in North Carolina 1790 to 1860 From Slavery to Freedom A History of American Negroes. The militant south and reconstruction after the Civil War. He was interviewed by Cecilia Evans of WB O.E. Dr. Franklin. How was the brigade as a pattern in education and in housing fastened upon the negro. So far as education is concerned I think we ought to begin by realizing. That at the end of the Civil War what the negro was and. Perhaps most of all was education. He was not interested in education with whites or with any other group. He was interested in education. The first schools therefore for Negroes in the South were for them. And although a limited number of whites.
Attended the schools largely because their parents taught in the schools and were connected with them. They were essentially schools for Negroes. Now when the states themselves. Began to provide educational opportunities for Negroes. These opportunities were in separate schools. There indeed was no serious challenge obvious. Although some Negroes did point out that it was a dangerous pattern for the reason that discrimination would be would become so easy. And that's precisely what happened. For after Reconstruction. As states began to count their pennies in appropriating educational facilities and in providing for education facilities. They discovered that there was indeed not enough money to go around and if there was not enough money for white and Negro
schools it was inevitable under the circumstances that the negro schools would suffer. Whites justify this of course on the ground that. Education was a luxury. For Negroes and perhaps it would not do them any good anyway. There was widespread of the view that Negroes were in ately inferior and why waste so much money on educating them if indeed negroes were educable then the education that they received would spoil them for their place in society which had been relegated to which they had been relegated by the dominant white group so that generally there was a feeling that first. Negroes who were to be educated ought to be educated in a separate institution and secondly that. Only a limited amount of money should be spent on them. So it was much easier to discriminate against them and to spend a small amount of public funds on them if they were in separate schools. Now you
ask me about housing. Of course they had always been a kind of segregation in housing. From the earliest part of the 19th century. Then particularly in the urban communities of the north. As well as in the south. In places where Negroes lived close close to whites. It was because they lived on the property of whites and were available to serve them. And whenever the whites called upon them. There was generally of though the view that if Negroes were not employed by whites. It would be better if they did not live near whites. Now this development came quite gradually in the southern part of the United States. And indeed far into the 20th into the 20th century we can find that there were Negroes and whites living in rather close proximity to each other. But then there gradually developed the view that because of the numbers of Negroes.
And because of our possible tensions that might arise it would be better if they did not live together and so we get now legislation in the 20th century that provided for the separation. OB races so far as housing was concerned to be sure the United States Supreme Court in 117 béclère and unconstitutional. Are long arising out of from Louisville Kentucky that called for the separation of Negroes and whites on the basis of blocks it is that the Negroes who lived in one block lived in a block in the which whites cannot move and vice versa. The Supreme Court said that that was unconstitutional and violated the 14th Amendment. I think a rule ought to be said too about the way in which housing became fastener segregation and housing became fastened on the negroes in the northern part of the United States. Before the Civil War Of course the number of negroes living in lower than urban communities was
relatively limited. And with the exception of fairly large cities like New York and Philadelphia and Cincinnati. There were no great concentrations of negroes in northern cities. Then in the post reconstruction years they began to move north and this was the first time that you get any significant reaction out of the north against the migration of Negroes. There were the immigrants who resented them. They were the old settlers who resented them. There were the labor or labor unions that resented them. And their reaction was to indeed to make it as difficult for them as possible. They were shunted off in their one section of the city. And they were then hedged about by restrictions of one kind or another even gentlemen's agreements. Or restrictive covenants or than other like. And that made it difficult for them to move out into other parts. You saw the unwritten laws. Yes. And
although there were never any any. Statutes that explicitly call for the segregation of Negro housing in the northern part of the United States. The practices and the customs were so strong. And remained so probable that it became virtually impossible for the gross to move freely into housing. In parts of the parts of a city that had not been designated as the negro section. Wouldn't you say that the move now of middle and upper middle class white families to the suburbs has emphasized this pattern of segregation by leaving negroes in the inner city area in many large cities in the United States. Well of course of course there are. I think it ought to be said in passing that there have been various factors and forces which have stimulated the growth of the suburbs but certainly a very
important factor. As I view it has been the presence of the negro M.A. city. And the whites have frequently deserted the NSA and I've left it to the negroes while they create new communities. Him me out of fringes of the city are beyond the city and which would then become the hope. What the city have ben much earlier. A place where they could live freely without and it without too much interference from our intrusion of Negroes. And yet of course the inner city is still needed and then we have all the metropolitan problems that we now complain about. Dr. Franklin as we look at another period in history let's say the time from one thousand twenty one thousand forty five through to the end of World War 2 that is what what happened to the negroes condition in stages in American life. Well as we were just saying this is the period of considerable migration of the negro out of the South. To the north and out
of rural areas to urban areas. And this began before World War 2. It was greatly accelerated during World War II. I'm sorry it began during World War 1. And it was greatly accelerated in the period just after World War 1 so that we get for the first time. Really huge numbers of negroes living in the metropolitan areas of the north. And this process of course will even be more accelerated in World War Two. This of course means that you have a kind of country confrontation a black and white. The like of which we have never had in the history of the United States. The most bitter and one of the earliest manifestations of this confrontation. Could be seen at the very end of World War 1. When you had the numerous riots that broke out in our great cities of the north.
There had been riots before World War 1 in various parts of Ohio and Illinois and other parts of the United States. But now the riots that broke out in the summer of 119 where the bloodiest and the largest that the nation had ever seen. One on One and One needs only to remember two of them the great riots in the city of Washington in the summer of 1989 and the one in the city of Chicago in the same year and 20 other riots caused one writer to describe how the summer of 19 or 19 as of the Red Summer now. The reaction against to the negro. I think his presence in the city could be seen not only in the rioting but also could be seen in the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan the Klan had died down back in the late reconstruction years only to rise up once more in the in the period of
World War 1. It was not only an hour and time Negro but also anti-Semitic and packed Catholic. And negroes were burned at the stake by rioters and they were lynched with impunity and there was a general deterioration in their position. But Negroes now in the 90 other 20s fought back in a way that they had not thought before. Thanks to the organization of civic groups pressure groups like the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People and the National Urban League and the various leagues against lynching and so forth. Now there was a rather significant turn of the corner as negroes began vigorously to struggle for an equal place in the sun. They went to the courts and court and secured favorable decisions in the political arena and to some extent the economic arena. And they also I went to the legislators and
pleaded for legislation favorable to their protection. And they began to adopt various methods such as protesting against the economic and social discrimination and picketing and boycotting with the result that they were able to bring pressure to bear and to secure at least slightly more favorable consideration in the American scene. Well as we look at this last period let's say from 1945 to the present. To what extent would you say the negro's conditions and his opportunities have changed or or have improved. I would tell you that on the surface the negro's position has improved considerably in the last 20 or 25 years. Certainly the educational opportunities have increased. Certainly the legislation protecting him in his rights. Has increased. Certainly the position of the
negro. These are very well the rest of society has increased has improved but one cannot overlook the fact that the negroes relative economic position has not improved. And one of the reasons for the unrest and one of the reasons for the distress on the part of the vast majority of the negroes today is that the vast majority of them can see no significant attention to the improvement in their their status as they view the remarkable improvements in America generally. Thanks Dr Franklin for giving us some of your views on the present status of the American Negro in visit with an historian and writer part two. You've heard the second of two interviews with Dr. John Hope Franklin the visiting scholar series is produced for the Cleveland Board of Education station WABE are we at them by Charles Siegel. Your interviewer was Cecilia Evans
engineer Dennis Beatty. This is leaf anchors speaking this is the Board of Education station in Cleveland WB O.E.. This program was distributed by national educational radio. This is the National Education already on network.
Visiting scholars
Dr. John Hope Franklin, part two
Producing Organization
Cleveland Public Schools
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, the second of two parts, features an interview with Dr. John Hope Franklin, University of Chicago. Dr. Franklin was a Fulbright professor at several Australian universities, specializing in African-American history.
Series Description
This series features interviews with outstanding scholars from various fields.
Race and Ethnicity
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Interviewee: Franklin, John Hope, 1915-2009
Interviewer: Evans, Cecilia
Producing Organization: Cleveland Public Schools
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-2-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:58
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Chicago: “Visiting scholars; Dr. John Hope Franklin, part two,” 1968-02-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 19, 2024,
MLA: “Visiting scholars; Dr. John Hope Franklin, part two.” 1968-02-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 19, 2024. <>.
APA: Visiting scholars; Dr. John Hope Franklin, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from