Inspired by Dr. John Hope Franklin’s legacy, the John Hope Franklin Center (JHFC)/Duke Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS) is committed to addressing one of the most pressing social and political problems of our time: ongoing structural racism against people of African descent and issues of racial inequality.
John Hope Franklin’s father, Buck Franklin, was a lawyer who defended the survivors of the 1921 Greenwood massacre in Tulsa. His pioneering work as a historian helped record nearly erased personal narratives of the experience of enslavement and bondage in works like Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation (1999). Facing discrimination in his own work, his numerous academic writings strove to weave the black experience into the history of the United States, insisting that black history is American history, from his Free Negro of North Carolina (1943) to his autobiography Mirror to America (2005). As a social scientist, his work on the unconstitutionality of racial segregation in Brown v. Board of Education helped challenge the Jim Crow premise of separate but equal in the American educational system, despite the ongoing problems of racial inequalities in schools. He was also a truly global citizen: traveling in a State Department Delegation to celebrate the independence of Nigeria in 1960; visiting professor at Cambridge University in 1962-63; filming “A Journey Toward Peace” with Bishop Desmond Tutu on Gorée Island, the former slave-trading center in Senegal among many international engagements.
The John Hope Franklin Center and the Wednesdays at the Center series have been built on this legacy. Duke University itself is rooted in a long history of racial inequality, only beginning the process of desegregating its undergraduate population in 1963 and counting a former slave owner as one of its first presidents. We seek to renew our commitment to dismantling bias and challenging its premises by facing this history and changing its course. We answer the call by the current Duke President and Provost to build a more inclusive and equal institution via research and action.
The Wednesdays at the Center, the John Hope Franklin Center, and the international area study centers in DUCIGS have worked in the past to address issues of racism, inequality, and marginalization both globally and locally. In 2020-21, we intensified our focus on anti-racism under the rubric:
JHF | Global Anti-Racism (histories of action).
The John Hope Franklin Research Center in the Rubenstein Library collects, preserves and promotes the use of published and unpublished primary sources for the exploration, understanding and advancement of scholarship of the history and culture of Africa and people of the African Diaspora in the Americas. Visit the John Hope Franklin Research Center in the Rubenstein Library.
 See John Hope Franklin’s comments at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfro166MZvc
Spring 2021 Program
FEBRUARY 3. Extra-acting and Extracting Whiteness: Why Asians called Euro-Americans ‘Enemies of Heaven’ in the 19th Century.
By Mark Driscoll, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Moderator: Leo Ching, Duke University
FEBRUARY 10. COVERT RACISM IN ECONOMICS.
By John Komlos, Duke University
Moderator: Giovanni Zanalda, Duke University
FEBRUARY 17. Perspectives ON ANTI-BLACKNESS IN IN THE ARAB WORLD.
By Hassan Juma Ndzovu (Moi University), Moses E. Ochonu (Vanderbilt University), Loubna Belmekki (Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University), Afifa Ltifi (Cornell University), and Yasmin Moll (University of Michigan). The panel will be moderated by Muhammed Haron (University of Botswana).
MARCH 3. GIRL TALK: THE INCLUSION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN PIANISTS IN STANDARD PIANO LITERATURE.
By Jeanetta Hopkins, Bull City Music School.
March 17. John Hope Franklin: Redefining the American Story.
By John Whittington Franklin and Nishani Frazier. Moderated by Dr. Kalenda Eaton.
MARCH 24. GRAPHIC IN TRANSIT: SOCIALLY ENGAGED ART IN THE ERA OF BLACK LIVES.
By Raúl Ferrera Balanquet, UNAM México, Bill Fick, Duke University, and Rafael Osuba, Artist Studio Project (ASP). Introduced and moderated by Miguel Rojas-Sotelo, Duke University.
MARCH 31. GRADUATE WORKING GROUPS ON GLOBAL ISSUES.
Featuring representatives from DUCIGS Graduate Working Groups
April 7. Black Muslims and the World: The Ideological Eclecticism of Black American Sunni Islam.
By Rasul Miller, the University of California at Irvine. Moderated by Youssef Carter, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
April 14. DeCOLONIAL ECOLOGIES TO MOVE BEYOND EXCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENTALISMS.
By Malcom Ferdinand
Fall 2020 Program
August 26. JHF | Global Anti-Racism (histories of action) | Presentation of the series.
Ryan Williams, Political Science (T’21); John Gartrell, Director, John Hope Franklin Research Center for African American and African American History and Culture; and Miguel Rojas-Sotelo, DUCIGS
Featuring. Dr. John Hope Franklin's videos: The BLACK WALL STREET (The Tulsa Riots and the Greenwood Experiences) & Lessons from My Father.
September 2. Mirror to America.
By Dr. John Hope Franklin (video from the Wednesdays at the Center Series - Sep. 2006)
JHF: Vision of the world at the crossroads.
Moderator: Miguel Rojas Sotelo
September 16. JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN The Global Scholar.
By John Gartrell on Dr. John Hope Franklin (video from Wednesdays at the Center Series - Feb. 2016).
Commentator: Giovanni Zanalda (DUCIGS)
September 23. George Washington Williams: The Case of a Neglected American Hero.
By Dr. John Hope Franklin & Lea Fridman (video from the Wednesdays at the Center Series - October 2008)
This video features the last participation of JHF in Wednesdays at the Center Series who was introduced by Srinivas Aravamudan.
Introduced by Professor Ranjana Khanna, Director, Franklin Humanities Institute
September 30. The Young Lords: A radical history.
By Johanna Fernández, Assistant Professor of history at Baruch College of the City University of New York and editor of Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal..
Moderated by Ayanna Legros, Duke History.
Presented by: Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and Forum for Scholars and Publics (FSP).
October 7. Race + Gender and Invisibility in the STEM Fields.
By Marc Anthony Neal (video from the Wednesdays at the Center Series - May 2017)
Opening remarks by Douglass Coleman, Program Director. BOOST: Building Opportunities & Overtures in Science & Technology, Alicia Nicki Washington, Professor of the Practice of Computer Science, and Renata Poulton Kamakura, Ph.D. student in Ecology.
October 21. Disrupting a Racial Politics of Division: Black Voices on the 1980 Mariel Boatlift.
By Monika Gosin, College of William and Mary.
Presented by Duke Libraries and CLACS
OCTOBER 28. ‘A Luta Continua’ (The Struggle Continues): Anti-Racism in South Africa and the US.
By Anne-Maria Makhulu, African and African American Studies and Cultural Anthropology, Duke University.