Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover suspected John Hope Franklin had links to communists and scrutinized the esteemed educator for opposing the House Committee on Un-American Activities, according to Talking Points Memo, which filed a Freedom of Information Act for Franklin's FBI file.
It's unbelievable stuff; you can read the file at TPM's Web site. But here's a sampling:
In the 515-page file, a note dated Oct. 14 1963, says
"All persons interviewed reported favorable information concerning Franklin who is regarded as an outstanding educator in the field of American History. ... He reportedly praised a book concerning the history of the negro in this country written by Herbert Aptheker, admitted CP [Communist Party] member. In The New York Times, March 20, 1961, his name appeared with 250 educators signing a statement urging the abolition of HCUA [House Committee on Un-American Activities] by the American Civil Liberties Union."