From Publishers Weekly
Franklin's steady, unwavering voice, touched with a taste of gravel and the slightest Southern drawl, anchors his reading of his autobiography, which takes him from an impoverished childhood to a Harvard Ph.D. and a career as a professor of history and tireless advocate for African-American issues. Franklin details his participation in landmark civil rights efforts like Brown
v. Board of Education
and the Montgomery, Ala., march of 1965. The 90-year-old Franklin reads with a leisurely tone, sounding less like the academic he is and more like an engaging, hospitable storyteller. If at times he makes the book sound like a laundry list of book reviews, job titles and the like, Franklin does a fine job of moving the story along, his sonorous tones surprisingly soothing. Occasionally Franklin hesitates or stumbles over words, but this lack of professional polish only adds to the luster of his reading, which possesses a genuineness and vigor.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
At the age of ninety, Franklin recounts the story of his rise from a childhood in Oklahoma to a career as a pioneering African-American historian, whose work on the history of segregation formed part of the N.A.A.C.P.'s brief in Brown v. Board of Education. The journey is shadowed at every stage by episodes of casual bigotry and worse. He was threatened by a would-be lynch mob while surveying the economic conditions of black cotton farmers in Depression-era Mississippi; as he corrected the galleys of his groundbreaking work "From Slavery to Freedom," in 1947, he learned that his older brother, shattered by the experience of racism in the segregated military, "had either fallen or jumped" from a hotel window; and, after he hosted a dinner on the eve of receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a white woman gave him a numbered ticket and asked him to retrieve her coat.
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.