James Forman Jr., co-founder of the See Forever Foundation and former public defender, recently released a new book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. Featuring Maya students’ personal stories, Locking Up Our Own is a proud accomplishment for the Maya Family as we celebrate the success of our co-founder and advocate for change in the criminal justice system.
In his book, Forman explores the sometimes unwitting role African Americans played in disproportionately locking up their own as many African Americans supported the war on crime in 1970s and Black city officials proposed and approved legislation that allowed for longer sentencing and more aggressive police tactics. He also offers valuable lessons about the future of the criminal justice system and race.
After the release of his book, Maya Angelou Schools and See Forever Foundation staff, board members, partners, and other guests gathered together at Busboys and Poets while Forman introduced his book and answered questions from the audience. “Locking Up Our Own” was also highlighted in multiple interviews and articles, including those from The New York Times, NPR, and The Guardian.