The Scholar's Seminal Work

From Slavery to Freedom, English Edition

From Slavery to Freedom, French Translation

From Slavery to Freedom, Portuguese Translation

Letter from Alfred Knopf Publishers, 1945

Letter from Robert Shugg to John Hope Franklin inquiring about his writing projects. At the end of the note Shugg asks if Franklin would be interested in writing a history of the negro.

Letter from Robert Shugg to John Hope Franklin, 1946

As Franklin's writing project progressed, he stayed in continual contact with his publisher. In this letter, Robert Shugg remarks on the book's working title, "The American Negro: A History" and the first five chapters of writing.

From Slavery to Freedom, Fiftieth Anniversary Program at Duke University, 1997

Perkins Gallery

Duke University Libraries

Durham, North Carolina

January-May 11, 2015

From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes is unquestionably John Hope Franklin's best known book. The first edition was printed in 1947 by Alfred A. Knopf. The publisher had approached Franklin about writing a history of African Americans in 1945, and he reluctantly undertook the project over the course of eighteen months. The completed manuscript was over five hundred pages and was released to rave reviews but only moderate sales. However, the book gained substantial attention with the emergence of Black Studies as an academic field in the late 1960s and 1970s. From Slavery to Freedom became a standard text in academia, influencing generations of scholars. Today, the book is in its ninth edition and is one of the best-selling books by an African American author.