FHN Grandparent Talks Black History Month

By Mia Elliott

Sophomore Chassidy Johnson’s grandmother, Yvonne Hampton-Franklin, was born in 1949, a time period when African Americans weren’t always treated equally.BlackHistoryMonth

Franklin was an intermittent teacher for 15 years, and she was restricted to only teach in the African American neighborhood. Today, after 10 years in the medical field, Franklin is a retired nurse, has four children and 13 grandchildren.

“I do believe she deserves that time off because even though she is a retired nurse, she still wants to work and help people, and to show that you don’t have to be crippled in something because of your opportunities,” Johnson said.

In Franklin’s high school, there was a population of about 20 percent black and 80 percent white. Back in the 1960s, when Franklin was in high school, fairness was not being given among the Blacks. She once worked at Mercantile Bank where she worked as the errand runner while the Caucasian girls worked as the secretaries.

“It was very frightening because there was a time in this country when white people could do anything to you, and you had no protection,” Franklin said.

Franklin felt she was very driven to work towards her education and succeed in life. After high school, she attended Lincoln University in Jefferson. While there, Franklin received her Bachelor’s in education and her Master’s in business. She also attended Washington University School of Medicine where she received her nursing degree. Altogether, Franklin was in school for about 10 to 12 years.

“My parents were very very big on education,” Franklin said. “Education was just everything; it was a large part of me being brought up. Aside from being a decent person, education was very very important.”

According to The Urgency of Now, a website that reports public education records, in Missouri, the African American male graduation rate is 56 percent, while the white male graduation rate recorded at 81 percent. Just as her parents strived for their daughter to have a good education, Franklin is hoping that in the next 10 years there will be a growth in the education for African Americans of society today.

“I would really like to see those graduation rates improve,” Franklin said. “I would really like to see African Americans beginning to move more towards technology and science.”