My Life and an Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin

Overview

Buck Colbert Franklin (1879-1960) led an extraordinary life; from his boyhood adventures on a ranch in what was then the Indian Territory to his practice of law in twentieth-century Tulsa, he was an observant witness to the changes in politics, law, daily existence, and race relations that transformed the wide-open Southwest. Fascinating in its depiction of an intelligent young man's coming of age in the days of the land rush and the closing of the frontier, My Life and an Era is equally important for its ...
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Overview

Buck Colbert Franklin (1879-1960) led an extraordinary life; from his boyhood adventures on a ranch in what was then the Indian Territory to his practice of law in twentieth-century Tulsa, he was an observant witness to the changes in politics, law, daily existence, and race relations that transformed the wide-open Southwest. Fascinating in its depiction of an intelligent young man's coming of age in the days of the land rush and the closing of the frontier, My Life and an Era is equally important for its reporting of the triracial culture of early Oklahoma. Recalling his youth spent in the Chickasaw Nation, Franklin suggests that blacks fared better in the Southwest in the days of the Indians than they did later with the influx of a large white population. In addition to his insights about the society of the time, Franklin offers his childhood reminiscences of mustangs and mountain lions, of farming and ranch life, that might appear in a Western novel. After returning from college in the foreign worlds of Nashville and Atlanta, Franklin married a college classmate, studied law by mail, passed the bar, and struggled to build a practice in Ardmore and, later, in the all-black town of Rentiesville during the first years of Oklahoma statehood. Eventually a successful attorney in Tulsa, he was an eyewitness to a number of important events in the Southwest, including the devastating Tulsa race riot of 1921, which destroyed the city's black section and left dozens dead. His account clearly shows the growing racial tensions as more and more people moved into the state in the period leading up to World War II.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Historian Franklin (chair of Bill Clinton's Initiative of Race and Reconciliation advisory board and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom) has edited and assembled the autobiography of his late father, Buck Colbert Franklin (1879-1960), who "represented many layers of the human experiencefreedman and Native American, farmer and rancher, rural educator and urban professional." The elder Franklin meticulously reports the daily observances from his youth in the Indian Territory to his practice of law in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The kaleidoscope of approaches and life experiences reflect the many changes, cultural and political, that the indomitable Franklin witnessed throughout his lifetime. Buck Franklin's ability to understand the complex and appreciate the simple aspects of existence mesmerizes the reader and brings the realities of slavery, poverty, and racial tensions to us in a firsthand account. The anecdotal details in another's hand might become tiresome, but Franklin's account holds one's attention and strongly communicates the honor and stalwartness of his family. For public and academic libraries.Kay Meredith Dusheck, Animosa, Iowa
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807125991
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 8.95 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

John Hope Franklin is the fourth child of Buck and Mollie Parker Franklin. The recipient of over one hundred honorary degrees, he is the author of From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans and Race and History: Selected Essays, 1938—1988, among other works. Franklin is James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus at Duke University.

John Whittington Franklin is the son of John Hope Franklin. He is a program manager for the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution.

John Hope Franklin is the fourth child of Buck and Mollie Parker Franklin. The recipient of over one hundred honorary degrees, he is the author of From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans and Race and History: Selected Essays, 1938—1988, among other works. Franklin is James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus at Duke University.

John Whittington Franklin is the son of John Hope Franklin. He is a program manager for the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution.

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