Jack D. Forbes
Jack D. Forbes (January 7, 1934, Long Beach, CA – February 23, 2011, Davis, CA) was a Native American writer, scholar and political activist. He is best known for his role in establishing one of the first Native American Studies programs (at UC Davis), and for founding D-Q University, the first Native American college located outside a reservation.
Life and career
Jack D. Forbes was born in Long Beach, California, of Powhatan-Renapé and Lenape descent. He was raised in neighboring El Monte and Eagle Rock, where he began his writing career at the high school newspaper. He received his Bachelors degree in Philosophy from USC in 1953, going on to a Masters in 1955 and a Ph.D. in History and Anthropology (1959).
In the early 1960s, he became one of the first participants and organizers in the Native American movement. He has been a visiting Fulbright Professor at the University of Warwick in England, where he also spent time at Oxford and the University of Essex. Additionally, he has held the Tinbergen Chair at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.
He was professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, where he had formerly chaired the Native American studies program, which he had helped to establish in the late sixties. He was also one of the founders of the now defunct Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University (commonly referred to as D-Q University) which was located near Davis, California.
In the early 1990s, he was involved with David Risling and others in the making of A Free People, Free To Choose, a film by Jan Crull, Jr.. It was originally conceived as a feature length documentary based on D-Q University's history and an alleged campaign by the federal government to destroy it. Crull was forced to abandon the project when Morrison & Foerster, a law firm closely linked to D-Q U's legal battles, withdrew from the project because the film's subjects became involved in lawsuits with one another. The hundred-plus hours of footage assembled includes a lengthy interview with Forbes.
Awards and Honors
- Before Columbus Foundation: American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement (1997)
- Wordcraft Circle: Writer of the Year (Prose - Non-Fiction) award (1999)
- 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award, Native Writers' Circle of the Americas
- Columbus and Other Cannibals, Seven Stories Press (2008) ISBN 1-58322-781-4
- The American Discovery of Europe, University of Illinois Press (2007) ISBN 0-252-03152-0
- Red Blood (Novel), Theytus Press (1997) ISBN 0-919441-65-3
- Only Approved Indians: Stories, University of Oklahoma Press (1995) ISBN 0-8061-2699-X
- Apache, Navaho and Spaniard, University of Oklahoma Press (1994) ISBN 0-8061-2686-8
- Africans and Native Americans, University of Illinois Press (1993) ISBN 0-252-06321-X
- Cunnane, Sarah (17 March 2011). "Jack Forbes, 1934-2011". The Times. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Biographical sketch on Jack Forbes' blog
- Seven Stories Press
- Bailey, Pat (February 25, 2011). "UC Davis scholar Jack Forbes advocated for indigenous peoples". Davis News. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- W.G.A.W. Reg. No. 513853
- Obituary on the Indian Country Media Today Network
- Did Native Americans Discover Europe First?, a brief interview with Forbes.
- Forbes' comments on his Columbus and Other Cannibals
- Jack Forbes Collection at Special Collections Dept., University Library, University of California, Davis
- "Jack D. Forbes (Powhatan-Renape, Delaware-Lenape), 1934-2011", University of California, Davis