Westminster Town Hall Forum: James Forman, Jr. on crime and punishment

James Forman Jr.
James Forman Jr.
Photo by Harold Shapiro

A broadcast of the Westminster Town Hall Forum featuring James Forman, Jr. a law professor at Yale University and author of the book, "Locking Up Our Own."

Forman founded the Maya Angelou Public Charter School serving incarcerated and troubled youth. Forman's talk is titled, "Crime and Punishment in Black America."

Forman says there is a lot of unfinished business from the civil rights movement of the 1960's. Because of the historical impact of slavery, Jim Crow laws, red-lining, disenfranchisement, and federal highway projects that destroy communities, Forman says Black residents have been "deprived of the resources to protect themselves."

He called for a "Marshall Plan" to deal with crime, violence and addiction in Black America and said we ask public officials "for an 'all-of-the-above' strategy to fight crime and violence, but we only get money for 'one-of-the-above,' ...that being law enforcement, police and prisons."

Forman says we have a "constraint of imagination." He told students in the audience, in particular, that "people will tell you change is impossible." Forman said, "ignore them."

He spoke November 28, 2017 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis.

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