Darlene Clark Hine was born in Morley, Missouri on February 7, 1947. She received a BA from Roosevelt University in 1968 and a MA and PhD from Kent State University in 1970 and 1975, respectively. She is considered a leading historian of the African American experience who helped found the field of black women's history. She has taught at South Carolina State College, Purdue University, and Michigan State University. She has written numerous books including Black Victory: The Rise and Fall of the White Primary in Texas; When the Truth Is Told: Black Women's Community and Culture in Indiana, 1875-1950; Black Women in White: Racial Conflict and Cooperation in the Nursing Profession, 1890-1950; and Speak Truth to Power: The Black Professional Class in United States History.
The son of an attorney who practiced before the U.S. Supreme Court, John Hope Franklin was born in Rentiesville, Oklahoma on January 2, 1915. He received a B. A. from Fisk University in 1935 and a master's degree in 1936 and a Ph.D. in 1941 from Harvard University. During his career in education, he taught at a numerous institutions including Brooklyn College, Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and Duke University. He also had teaching stints in Australia, China, and Zimbabwe. He has written numerous scholarly works including The Militant South, 1800-1861 (1956); Reconstruction After the Civil War (1961); The Emancipation Proclamation (1963); and The Color Line: Legacy for the 21st Century (1993). His comprehensive history From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans (1947) is generally acknowledged to be the basic survey of African American history. He received numerous awards during his lifetime including the Medal of Freedom in 1995 and the John W. Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanities in 2006. He worked with Thurgood Marshall's team of lawyers in their effort to end segregation in the 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education and participated in the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was president of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and the American Studies Association. He was also a founding member of the Black Academy of Arts and served on the U.S. Commission for UNESCO and the Committee on International Exchange of Scholars. He died of congestive heart failure on March 25, 2009 at the age of 94.