DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Part of Interstate 85 in North Carolina has been named for civil rights historian John Hope Franklin.

The Herald-Sun of Durham reported part of I-85 in Durham was named Monday as the John H. Franklin Highway.

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx proclaimed the highway before he left office in January. Foxx said Franklin helped people understand African-American history in the greater context of American society.

Franklin was from Oklahoma and spent his early academic career teaching at St. Augustine's University in Raleigh and then at North Carolina Central University in Durham. While in Durham he wrote "From Slaver to Freedom: A History of African-Americans," which was published in 1947. He later also taught in Washington, New York and Chicago.

Franklin died in 2009 at age 94.

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Information from: The Herald-Sun, http://www.herald-sun.com