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James Forman

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Civil Rights Activist

Forman, civil rights veteran of the '60s (he was Executive Secretary of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), wrote a whole chapter in his autobiography, The Making of Black Revolutionaries, about his atheism. In May 1969 he wound up on the front page of the New York Times after he took over the pew of a prominent (chi-chi) church in New York asking churches and synagogues for reparations to poor black people. In 1994 he was presented with the African American Humanist of the Year award in Orlando, Florida (at the Free Inquiry Convention).