The University of Tulsa College of Law is honored to host historian John Whittington Franklin for the 22nd Annual Buck Colbert Franklin Memorial Civil Rights Lecture at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 28. The event, to be held in the college’s courtroom at 3120 E. Fourth Place, is free and open to the public.
John W. Franklin is managing member of Franklin Global LLC. At the Smithsonian Institution he served as program manager in the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, curator at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and senior manager at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. After 32 years of service, he retired from the Smithsonian with emeritus status in 2019. He lectures on African American and African Diasporan history and culture.
“I am grateful that John has agreed to return to Tulsa, visit with our students and faculty and offer this important presentation to the community at large,” said Dean Oren Griffin, Chapman Endowed Chair at TU Law. “It is crucial that we never forget the past that has led us to the place we are today. It is only through the lens of history that we can create a vision for a more just future.”
Franklin is the son of renowned history scholar John Hope Franklin and the grandson of attorney Buck Colbert Franklin, who survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. As a result of hate, the massacre decimated the prosperous Greenwood business community known as Black Wall Street. BC Franklin dedicated his time and expertise to aiding other survivors.
“Attorney Buck Colbert Franklin was the seventh of 10 children born to David and Millie Franklin. David Franklin had arrived in Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, in the 1830s. His son, BC, as he was known, went to college, married his college sweetheart and was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar in 1907. He practiced law in Springer, Ardmore and Rentiesville before moving to Tulsa in 1921. He serves as an example of tireless commitment to the people of Greenwood,” John W. Franklin said.
A century later, as part of its clinical education program, TU Law established the BC Franklin Legal Clinic to provide free legal services to residents in the Greenwood and North Tulsa communities.
“The BC Franklin Clinic students and faculty are thrilled to welcome Mr. John Franklin to Tulsa, to the TU College of Law and to our clinic,” said TU Law Professor Mimi Marton, associate dean of experiential learning and director of clinical programs. “We look forward to hearing Mr. Franklin speak and to sharing with him the work the BC Franklin Clinic is doing as it strives to live up to his grandfather’s legacy of providing legal representation to those in dire need.”
John W. Franklin’s visit to TU is part of the university’s 2022 Homecoming week activities. Boxed lunch is available, but registration is required. The Oct. 28 lecture and Q&A serves as the official kickoff for the College of Law’s 100th anniversary celebration.
The next anniversary event will be the TU Law Veterans Day Reception, featuring Judge Dave Guten and Retired Col. Mike Mulligan, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 10. This will be an opportunity to gather in honor those who have served and are currently serving this country. For more information, please call 918-631-2112.