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Ada C. Franklin
The birth of Ada Crogman Franklin in 1886 is celebrated on this date. She was a Black instructor and administrator in the performing arts.
She was born in Atlanta, one of eight children of Dr. and Mrs. William H. Crogman. Her father, William Crogman, a distinguished Black scholar, was a professor of Latin and Greek at Clark University for 37 years and then became the first Black president of Clark, serving for seven years. Franklin, along with her two sisters and five brothers, grew up on the Clark University campus. Following her graduation from Clark, she entered Emerson College in Boston majoring in dramatic art.
After graduation, she was employed as a dramatics specialist with the National Playground and Recreation Association of New York. Her job was to travel throughout the country to find Black talent in dramatics. She became so interested that she chose to write and to produce a pageant depicting the history and the contributions that Black people have made to America. Before she began her dramatic career, Franklin taught at the Alabama State College and Tennessee State University.
Franklin became nationally known for her production, "Milestones of a Race," which was presented in cities throughout the country. She developed local casts and trained local talent for the leading roles in the pageant. During this time she met Chester Franklin, a native of Texas. They were married in 1925 in Atlanta and moved to Kansas City, where she soon began to devote her talents to the Kansas City community in general and to the CALL newspaper in particular. After his death in 1955, Franklin continued the tradition of her husband whose policy was to operate a clean, family newspaper.
In 1969, the Department of Journalism presented Franklin the Curators’ Award in Journalism at Lincoln University in Jefferson City. In 1973, she was awarded the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Distinguished Publishers' award. In 1982, Mrs. Franklin contributed her father’s collection of books and paintings to Clark University. Ada Crogman Franklin died in 1983.
Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York