Making History

June 1, 2002

 

Three Duke historians--John Hope Franklin, Gerda Lerner, and Anne Firor Scott--have been selected to receive the Organization of American Historians' Distinguished Service Award. The three are the only scholars to receive the award this year.

Scott, W.K. Boyd Professor of History Emerita, is known for her work in Southern women's history. She has taught at Haverford College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has written or edited nine books, including The Southern Lady, Women in American Life, Making the Invisible Woman Visible, Natural Allies, and Unheard Voices. She has served in leadership posts with both the Southern Historical Association and President Lyndon B. Johnson's Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

Franklin, James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus, has devoted his life to the study, research, and documentation of African-American history. He has written twelve books, including the 1947 volume From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, for which he is best known. The book has been translated into seven languages and is now in its eighth edition. Franklin was an important consultant to the NAACP in its successful argument of Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been on the faculty of Fisk University, St. Augustine's College, North Carolina Central University, Howard University, Brooklyn College, and the University of Chicago.

Lerner, a visiting professor of history at Duke and a University of Wisconsin professor emerita, has written ten books on the female experience in this country. Born to a Jewish family in Vienna, she was forced into exile in 1938 after the rise of the Nazis. She is credited with establishing the country's first graduate program in women's history, at Sarah Lawrence College in 1972. She has edited twenty-one volumes, all on women's history or related topics. Earlier this spring, she was named the 2002 recipient of the Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Historical Writing. She is the first woman to receive the prize, awarded every two years by the Society of American Historians.