From washingtonpost.com:
Duke University professor John Hope Franklin, 94, a revered historian of life in the South and the African-American experience, died Wednesday of congestive heart failure at Duke University's hospital in Durham. Here's the 29-inch AP version of his obit.

Author of the seminal "From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans," which has been republished more than seven times, Dr. Franklin was part of the team of scholars who assisted Thurgood Marshall to win Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 case that outlawed the "separate but equal" doctrine in the nation's public schools.

"The tragedy," Franklin told a New York Times Book Review writer in 1990, "is that black scholars so often have their specialties forced on them. My specialty is the history of the South, and that means I teach the history of blacks and whites."

Often honored late in his life, he appeared on the Tavis Smiley show just three years ago. Videos of him talking about his life can be found at the National Visionary Leadership Project. He talked about Barack Obama's nomination here.