Former Executive Secretary of SNCC, James Forman was a radical activist leader. He’d helped organize Freedom Summer and was there on the frontlines on Bloody Sunday.
And he was ready to activate another political site.
All eyes of The Riverside Church congregation were on him. Meeting white gazes, Forman began reading from his highly political Black Manifesto.
The manifesto listed out demands for reparations. Forman believed churches historically rooted in anti-Blackness owed reparations to Black people. He was there to demand the big bucks.
In front of the entire congregation he stated that all churches and synagogues with ties to anti-Blackness must pay $500 million in reparations.
While the reparations weren’t met, Forman’s demands were heard nationwide. His protest was the among the first to put the idea of national anti-Black spiritual reparations on the table, a conversation that lived on for decades.
Because Western religions were weaponized by colonizers and enslavers throughout history to oppress us, religion is inherently political. Therefore it’s our right to question and protest any anti-Black spiritual spaces or practices that try pitting God against us.
Black liberation is God’s fight. Our freedom is both spiritual and political. It is our duty to protect it at all costs.
We have a quick favor to ask...
We hope you're enjoying PushBlack Spirit! Spreading the truth about Black spiritual practices and history is just as important to you as it is to us.
And as a small non-profit, we need your support to keep spreading these important stories.
With as little as $5 a month, you will support our tech and writing costs, so we can reach even more people like you. It only takes a minue, so will you please donate now?