Today, a colleague asked if I was familiar with John Hope. The name sounded familiar but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at the time. So, when he walked me over to his desk and pulled up a picture of the mixed race (scots-Irish/Black) educator and political activist, I was then able to recall what I’d learned of him. A few weeks prior, I was working to catalog the John Hope Homes record in our HABS/HAER/HALS database and learned that because of his social impact in Atlanta, a public housing development constructed in 1938, John Hope Homes, was named after his namesake.
Surprisingly, it was his image that influenced my being able to recall what I’d once learned of him when working to catalog a collection of documents. This leads me to think about when and why certain historical information makes an instant impression on ones mind, while others don’t.
My colleague. E. Hightower would go on to share that in 1906 Hope became the first black president of Morehouse College (then Atlanta Baptist College). Years later, in 1929 he secured the role of president of Clark Atlanta University (then Atlanta University) making him the first Black president of that institution, as well. History that I plan to keep in mind for a lifetime .
About the series: The constant in this series is the bird. Here the bird represents everything coming back in “full circle” similar to how birds overwinter in warm climates, yet return to where they were born the following spring. And/or Sankofa.