John W. Franklin | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

John W. Franklin

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For 24 years, John W. Franklin has worked to preserve African American history at the Smithsonian Institution. Last week, Jackson State University's Margaret Walker Center honored John W. Franklin with one of its annual For My People Awards.

Franklin got his start working with the Smithsonian in 1976, while he was teaching English in Dakar, Senegal. He served as a researcher and French language interpreter for the Smithsonian's African Diaspora program, a statement from JSU said.

Presently, Franklin is the director of partnerships and international programs for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian's 19th museum, which crews are scheduled to begin construction this year on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Franklin has also curated Smithsonian programs on the Bahamas, Cape Verdean Culture, Washington, D.C. and Mali, the statement said.

Last week, as part of the Martin Luther King Convocation at JSU, the Margaret Walker Center presented Franklin with the For My People Award for his work to preserve African American history and culture. The center also presented For My People Awards to Dorothy Stewart, founder of Women for Progress, and Mary Toles, founder of the Natchez Association for the Preservation of Afro-American Culture.

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