The John Hope Franklin Lifetime Achievement Award has gone to a historian with ties to Laurinburg.
The award, which is only give every four years, has gone to Joel Williamson, a Lineberger Professor Emeritus of the Humanities of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Williamson has a home in Laurinburg and Chapel Hill and is married to a former professor at St. Andrews University.
Williamson is the author of a number of landmark works, including William Faulkner and Southern History (OUP, 1993) and The Crucible of Race: Black-White Relations in the American South since Emancipation (OUP, 1984), which won the Francis Parkman Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and the Ralph Emerson Award. Both books were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. He has also written a biography on Elvis Presley.
Williamson has lectured at St. Andrews sharing his extensive knowledge of Margaret Mitchell and explaining of how race, class, and gender have shaped both Southern and American history.
The John Hope Franklin Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has had a distinguished career in Southern history, has contributed significantly to scholarship in the field, and who has exhibited outstanding qualities of citizenship.
Nominations are solicited through notices in the Journal of Southern History.
The 2007 Committee selected Leon F. Litwack of University of California,Berkeley as the first winner of the award.
Williamson received the second John Hope Franklin award last month in Mobile, Ala.
He is married to the former Anna Woodson, who taught art at St. Andrews for 12 years. She kept her refurbished home in Johns Station, added a yoga studio, and the Williamson spend time there, although they also live in Chapel Hill.