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SNCC Turns 60 With Co-Founder Rev. David C. Forbes

SNCC Digital Gateway

David Forbes arrived at Shaw University in 1958. In the winter of his sophomore year, the Civil Rights movement swept through North Carolina when four students in Greensboro led a sit-in. Forbes and hundreds of other Shaw students followed suit at the Woolworth’s in Cameron Village. 

More protests and arrests followed, with Forbes stepping into the role of front-line organizer, driving students in his father’s car. That April, representatives from student movements across the country converged on the campus of Shaw to discuss young people’s place in the Civil Rights Movement. Also present were older representatives of national movements — Martin Luther King Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); Thurgood Marshall; Roy Wilkins of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and James Farmer from the Congress of Racial Equity (CORE). King and other leaders sought to leverage the burgeoning student energy within their own organizations, but a North Carolina leader of the SCLC saw it differently.

Ella Baker advocated for young people’s idealism to remain independent and asserted that it belonged at the front of the nascent Civil Rights movement. With Baker’s support, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was born. Host Frank Stasio is joined by Rev. David C. Forbes, Sr. a former dean of the divinity school at Shaw University, and Valerie Johnson, the dean of the school of arts, sciences, and humanities at Shaw. The university will host an online watch party for the documentary “Shaw Rising” featuring Rev. Forbes on Friday, April 17 at 9 p.m.

Grant Holub-Moorman coordinates events and North Carolina outreach for WUNC, including a monthly trivia night. He is a founding member of Embodied and a former producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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