presidential medal of freedom
The world is stubborn. It changes its thinking at a glacial pace. People fear change, and they come to hate what they fear. Powerful interests do not want to lose or to share power. The work of social justice, of affecting positive change requires persistent commitment and radical love that gives one the energy to continue the work across decades.
John Hope Franklin lived through most of the twentieth century. He was a gentle man, a scholar, an activist, and a truth-teller. He studied history and he helped to make it.