James Forman

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James Forman died January 10, 2005. Forman was a key leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the student & youth organization that worked boldly in the face of great danger to end racist discrimination in the Deep South in the early 1960s, through sit-ins, Freedom Rides, voter registration, and other tactics. He later helped engineer a short-lived merger between SNCC and the Black Panther Party, and was also part of the Detroit-based League of Revolutionary Black Workers and then the Black Workers Congress. He wrote several books, including an important history of SNCC, “The Making of Black Revolutionaries."[1]

John Lewis' speech

The 1963 March on Washington was designed to put pressure on the Kennedy administration and Congress to enact a civil rights bill and an anti-poverty bill, including a public works plan to generate jobs and an increase in the minimum wage. In drafting his speech for the event, John Lewis got input from many SNCC activists, including Julian Bond, Eleanor Holmes, James Forman and others. They viewed it as a collective SNCC statement, not simply Lewis' own views, which is why Lewis was careful not to water down the talk's powerful condemnation of racism and politicians' complicity.[2]

National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee

As of May 1964, James Forman, Director, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee was listed as a sponsor of the Communist Party USA front, National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Arrest at South African consulate

Steven Pitts February 15 2018.


"Bill Hall, Cleveland Sellers, Willie Ricks, James Forman, and John Lewis at South Africa’s Consulate Office in New York after being arrested for protesting in memory of the Sharpeville Massacre. Harry Belafonte provided their bail. Sidney Poitier was a member of the SNCC Fund Raising Brigade."

Revolutionary Union Movement followers

In 1968 and 1969, former Wayne State students such as General Baker, Marian Kramer, Ken Cockrel, Ken Hamblin, Luke Tripp, Charles Johnson, and others organized the Revolutionary Union Movement in Detroit’s auto plants, which culminated in the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. Some of the organizers who split from the League joined former SNCC leader James Forman and founded the Black Workers Congress.[3]

DC rights march

The Aug. 23 2003 march on Washington that marked the 40th anniversary of the giant 1963 Civil Rights March led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was noted for its strong anti-war mood. Thousands of people from across the country streamed onto the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the historic march, which featured Dr. King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech.

The night before this year's march, Yolanda King hosted a "spit in" geared toward younger activists. Many people took the stage for five minutes each to "spit" poetry against war, about growing up poor and oppressed, about police brutality and other injustices to illustrate that the "dream" has not been realized by most working people in this country.

Throughout the weekend the speakers who received the loudest ovations were those who demanded an end to the occupation of Iraq.

Among the speakers were three presidential candidates--the Rev. Al Sharpton, Carol Moseley Braun and Howard Dean; historic civil-rights leaders such as James Forman, Coretta Scott King and Jesse Jackson; representatives of the civil-rights/peace-and-justice movement like NOW Executive Director Kim Gandy, National Lesbian and Gay Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman, Damu Smith of Black Voices for Peace, Leslie Cagan of United for Peace and Justice, James Zogby of the Arab American Institute, Raul Yzaguirre of La Raza, and Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Association, who invited everyone to come back for the Oct. 25 march against the U.S. occupation of Iraq. National youth and student leaders and church representatives also spoke.[4]

Chicago Area Friends of SNCC

In 2005 Chicago Area Friends of SNCC organized the "Tell the Story: The Chicago SNCC History Project, 1960-1965" Chicago Area Friends of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Chicago Civil Rights Movement, c. 1960-1965. The event was held October 21-22, 2005 Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois.

The committee listed several people in "memoriam" including James Forman.[5]


  1. [https://www.facebook.com/FreedomRoadSocialistOrg/photos/pb.145261140805.-2207520000.1436324269./10152466497465806/?type=1&theaterFB FRSO Jan 10\
  2. Truthout, 50 Years After the March on Washington, John Lewis Is Still Marching for Justice Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:30By Peter Dreier, Truthout | News
  3. [New Politics, vol. 6, no. 2 (new series), whole no. 22, Winter 1997]
  4. [DC rights march reflects anti-war mood By Pam Parker Washington, D.C.Reprinted from the Sept. 4, 2003, issue of Workers World newspaper]
  5. http://www.ben.edu/programs/cafsncc/