by Sukey HowardFebruary, 2006
The mirror in John Hope Franklin's utterly candid, provocative autobiography, Mirror to America, which he reads here, reflects the history of race in this country, an ugly history that Franklin lived through. Now more than 90 years old, this world-renowned author, scholar and advocate was born into a stifling racial climate that has continued to touch him at every stage of his life. As he chronicles the enormous obstacles he overcame reshaping the way African-American history is taught, becoming the first black department head in a white college, serving as an expert witness in Brown v. Board of Education, marching in Montgomery he never lets you forget that his hard-won triumphs in no way negate America's ongoing racial ills. President Clinton said that Franklin has always been a moral compass for America. We would do well to follow his direction.