Image of James Forman Jr. book cover.
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James Forman, Jr. will discuss his Pulitzer Prize winning book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 in Roosevelt University's Ida B. Wells Lounge, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

James Forman Jr.He will address support shown by black mayors, judges, police chiefs and politicians in the 1970s to get tough on crime.

A Yale law professor and frequent national media commentator, Forman won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.

Selected as a Best Book of the Year by numerous publications, the book examines the history behind the nation's war on crime.  It includes fascinating details about the desire for safe communities, and delves into how black leaders became early key supporters for tougher laws and harsher sentences that have led to today's mass incarceration of African Americans.

"We are proud to welcome one of the nation's leading scholars, Professor James Forman, Jr., and look forward to  insights on ways we can reverse the damaging trend of mass incarceration," said Heather Dalmage, director of Roosevelt's Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation.

Forman is the son of the late civil rights leader James Forman, Sr., a Roosevelt University alumnus who enrolled at Roosevelt in 1954, became president of the student body and graduated in three years' time, after which he continued his activism and education at Boston University.

It will be the son's first visit to Roosevelt, an institution that his father once credited with saving his life.  "This will be an emotionally charged and meaningful event for all of us," said Dalmage.

Sponsored by Roosevelt's College of Arts and Sciences, the Murray Green Library, the St. Clair Drake Center for African and African American Studies and the Mansfield Institute, the lecture is open to the media.  For more information, contact Laura Janota at 312-341-3511 or

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