Talk:James Bevel

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Photo[edit]

Can anyone find a good photo of the subject? We have a mugshot, but it'd be nice to find something from his earlier years. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:48, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Took your request a few months ago and asked Dawn Waldt to arrange to put one of hers on the page, a good photo of Bevel. This photo was taken when Bevel, Dawn, and I had a meeting with Joan Baez, an old friend of his from the movement days, and the photo is actually one-half of a photo of Bevel and Baez together. Randy Kryn, May 5, 2009

Class[edit]

I removed 'stub' as the class from the WPBiography banner, as it is obviously far too long to be a stub. What should it be? Information yes (talk) 13:21, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Put it conservativly up to B class, according to the quality descriptions, although I would actually rate it higher. Randy Kryn (talk) 01:43, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Release[edit]

Was he released from prison only because he had advanced cancer? Information yes (talk) 13:21, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

No. He was out on bail pending his appeal. Also, don't add the "pedophilia" category unless there is a clear source that calls him a pedophile. Being a child molester is not the same as being a pedophile.   Will Beback  talk  16:02, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Franklin child prostitution ring allegations[edit]

The article is missing any mention of Bevel's involvement in promoting investigations into the Franklin child prostitution ring allegations, which received significant press coverage. For example:

  • A petition drive is under way in Omaha with the goal of extending the life of the Legislature's Franklin Community Federal Credit Union committee. The Franklin committee, headed by State Sen. Loran Schmit of Bellwood, will go out of existence Wednesday unless the Legislature acts to keep it alive. The petition drive is being led by a member of a group linked to extremist Lyndon LaRouche that visited Nebraska in October. He is the Rev. James Bevel of Washington, D.C., described by the group as a civil rights activist. [..] The petitions intended to keep the Franklin committee alive are headed: "Human Rights for Children - Emergency Petition." The text reads in part: "If the Senate Franklin Credit Investigation Committee closes its doors and seals its files, Nebraska will become another word for cover-up. The trail of threats, jailings and deaths is on the level of the cover-ups in the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King." [..] Bevel was one of 10 people who came to Nebraska in October as members of a group calling itself the Citizens Fact-Finding Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations of Children in Nebraska. That group was organized by the Schiller Institute of Washington, D.C., and Wiesbaden, Germany. The institute was founded in 1984 by Helga Zepp-LaRouche. She is the wife of Lyndon LaRouche, who is serving a 15-year federal prison sentence for fraud and tax evasion.
    • "Man Seeks Franklin Committee Extension"; Robert Dorr. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb.: Jan 6, 1991. pg. 1.B
  • Last October, a 10-member LaRouche-linked group visited Omaha supposedly to look into allegations that arose after Franklin's failure. One member of that group, the Rev. James Bevel, moved to Omaha in November. Bevel often is a spokesman for LaRouche-supported causes, Ms. Kisser said. He writes a column for a LaRouche newspaper. Bevel's credentials as a former field organizer for slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. make him especially useful to the LaRouche people, she said. Bevel denied that he is fronting for the LaRouche organization. "That's an insult to me," he told a World-Herald reporter. [..] Bevel, 54, said he and six other people came to Omaha to undertake activities that, he said, will protect "the civil and human rights of children." He declined to say what activities are planned. Late last year, Bevel's workers sought 100,000 signatures on petitions that were intended to keep alive the Franklin legislative committee that was headed by State Sen. Loran Schmit of Bellwood. The legislative committee went out of existence in January after two years, during which it conducted mostly closed hearings. Bevel never presented the petitions to the Legislature. He declined to say how many signatures were collected. He also declined to say where the money is coming from to support his efforts here. Bevel has spoken at rallies and meetings, including one in Lincoln last month at which stacks of LaRouche literature were available.
    • "Franklin Stories Called LaRouche 'Moneymaker'"; Robert Dorr. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb.: Mar 10, 1991. pg. 1.B
  • An activist for two fringe groups who unsuccessfully tried to keep alive a legislative investigation of the failure of Omaha's Franklin Community Federal Credit Union is the running mate of presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. He is the Rev. James Bevel of Chicago and Washington. [..] In October 1990, Bevel turned up in Omaha as one of 10 members of a LaRouche-linked group that came to Nebraska supposedly to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse that arose after Franklin's failure. The next month, Bevel moved to Omaha along with a half dozen young people. Bevel said then that he and the others were in Omaha to undertake activities that would protect "the civil and human rights of children." Even though he was writing a column for the national LaRouche New Federalist newspaper, Bevel denied then that he was in Omaha representing the LaRouche organization. [..] Asked in early 1991 where the money was coming from to support his efforts in Omaha, Bevel refused to say. [..] While in Omaha, Bevel spoke at several rallies and meetings, including one in Lincoln in February 1991 at which LaRouche literature was available. He was identified at that meeting as chairman of the Children's Civil Rights Committee, with no mention of his LaRouche ties. Bevel left Omaha during the summer of 1991. He could not be reached for comment last week. [..] Bevel attached himself to the Unification Church and to the LaRouche organization "to give himself a second political career," Zeskind said. Bevel is useful to those fringe groups because his former prominence as a King adviser gives him credibility, Zeskind said. Chip Berlet, an analyst for the Political Research Associates, which studies far-right groups, said he thinks Bevel receives most of his financial support from the LaRouche organization. Before becoming the LaRouche candidate for vice president, Bevel traveled widely as head of Students for Educational and Economic Development, a LaRouche front group, Berlet said from Cambridge, Mass. Bevel also was active in promoting the LaRouche organization's opposition to the United States' Desert Storm invasion of Iraq, Berlet said. The LaRouche organization submitted more than 3,500 signatures on petitions to try to get the LaRouche-Bevel ticket on the Nebraska presidential ballot. But only 2,081 were determined to be eligible to sign petitions, 419 fewer than needed to gain a place on the November general-election ballot, Secretary of State Allen Beermann said. Thus, the LaRouche ticket won't be on the Nebraska ballot, Beermann said.
    • "Activist in Franklin Probe Is LaRouche Running Mate"; Robert Dorr. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb.: Sep 20, 1992. pg.7.B

Given the length of this article, I'd say this probably merits a couple of sentences. While the Omaha World - Herald is sufficiently reliable to use by itself, I'll look for some other sources.   Will Beback  talk  18:27, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi Will. I think Bevel just wanted the allegations investigated. One of several mistakes in the articles, the SEED group (Students for Education and Economic Development) was formed many years before Bevel had anything to do with LaRouche, and was never associated with LaRouche's group. Bevel was probably truthful when he said he wasn't really representing the LaRouche groups. He kept his own counsel and went his own way throughout his civil rights movement days and later, and sometimes his actions were joined by others and sometimes he joined other actions. But he was never known, as far as I know, to take orders or even much direction from others, but took a personal path of what he considered principled actions. Randy Kryn (talk) 14:39, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
There's no doubt that Bevel was seeking to extend or re-open the investigation. While Bevel had eclectic interests, this issue seems unusal even for him. Did he ever show any other interest in child prostitution? Also, do you have access to any other sources for this period? Otherwise I'll go ahead and draft a sentence or two to cover it based on these articles.   Will Beback  talk  18:55, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Have only learned about most of the incidents in Bevel's life from 1990 to early '95 in the past couple of years, so I have nothing relevant to the Nebraska period. No data on any other action concerning child prostitution, except I would guess that if someone came to him with even a hint of credible evidence and asked for his help, his activist instincts would have set activity like what occurred in Nebraska into motion. Within the article itself I try not to edit that period, or the later criminal charges, unless I see an obvious error or a spot for a good clarity tweak. My main interest in the subject remains Bevel's pivotal, defining, and leading role in the 1960s movements. Randy Kryn (talk) 21:46, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Here's the draft. How does that look?   Will Beback  talk  02:14, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

The addition seems factual. Could you add "November, 1990" as just saying 1990 makes Bevel's residence in Nebraska seem longer than the few months it was, and even then I'd guess he traveled the country and went back to Illinois for some if not most of that time. He had speaking and teaching engagements, and he always had a farm going somewhere, and farmed for part of each year. An interesting sidelight which may be mentioned somewhere, none of the LaRouche or Moon people came to Bevel's 2008 trial which is well covered on the page, even though it occurred in Leesburg, the headquarter's city for the LaRouche group (For that matter, none of his '60s associates came either except for one of the children he organized in Birmingham in '63, and only one historian, myself, although a couple of other major civil rights historians lived nearby.) Randy Kryn (talk) 16:43, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, "November" would be a good addition, though apparently Bevel first appeared in October before moving there the following month. As for the lack of support during the trial, it'd have to be recorded in a secondary source. I wish I could say that it was surprising, but I'm afraid it isn't.   Will Beback  talk  06:27, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Done. While we discussing edits, I don't think we've got the right section headings yet. "1969 and later, and the Moon and LaRouche involvements" is a clumsy combination of different things. We cover 15 years in two short sentences:
  • After leaving SCLC in 1969, Bevel went on to found the Making of a Man Clinic in 1970 and the Students for Education and Economic Development (SEED) in the early 1980s. Bevel ran as the Republican candidate for Illinois' 7th Congressional District in 1984.
Can we add brief explanations of the Making of a Man Clinic and the Students for Education and Economic Development (SEED)? Why did he run as a Republican? I gather he got significant support. I suggest we break that period into a section of its own. Even without adding more, it's already longer than the section devoted to the "1995 Day of Atonement/Million Man March". (More on that below).   Will Beback  talk  06:49, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Hi. He was a lifelong Republican because he grew up in Mississippi when almost all Afr.Amer. were Republican (at least those registered to vote), a time when the Democrats were the ones standing in the way of reform. And his Dad, Dennis Bevel, was a Reublican, which was important to Bevel. He never left the party. When Bevel ran for Congress in '83 he did so solely to publicize his ideas about education and an Education Movement, As in the '92 vice-presidential campaign, he first tried to find someone else to run and talk about his education plan, and when nobody wanted to do so he did it himself. The same with SEED, it was just an organization he organized in Chicago before he ran for office to talk about his education ideas. The Making of a Man Clinic, I have very little data on that, and if I recall he organized it soon after leaving SCLC, and it was probably, like SEED, a name used to give Bevel an umbrella organization to work on his ideas. When he ran for office, not expecting to win, he got the support of the local Republican committeeman and some back-slapping national help. It was and is a Democratic district in Chicago, so it was unwinnable for a Republican, and thus the support was vocal instead of major funding assistance. I don't think it's worth an entire section myself, because if the page breaks up every activity then each one of the movements can eventually contain five or six sections or sub-sections. Both political campaigns, the Congressional and the VP, were totally done by Bevel just to talk about his education ideas, as was SEED, so the education data may be the section to go with and include the two races within that. Randy Kryn (talk) 16:15, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Million Man March[edit]

The current source for Bevel's involvement in the MMM is a press release for a speech in 1998, which isn't a good source. Checking the ProQuest news archive, the best source I can find says:

  • Farrakhan made several references to his mentor, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, revealing that it was he who had originated the idea for the Million Man March while watching the 1963 March on Washington. Rev. James Bevel, a former lieutenant for Dr. King during the civil rights movement, helped formulate the event, Farrakhan said.
    • "Farrakhan gave Brooklyn four hour speech" Boyd, Herb. New York Amsterdam News. New York, N.Y.: May 18, 1996. Vol. 87, Iss. 20; pg. 3

Do we have a better source for Bevel "co-initiating" the event? Otherwise "helped formulate" would seem more accurate.   Will Beback  talk  06:49, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

The Million Man March: Farrakhan had wanted to bring together a million men for a long time, it was something Muhammad had talked to him about in '63, but Farrakhan didn't know how to do it. Bevel wanted to call a National Atonement but didn't have a platform. When the two men met and Bevel told Farrakhan his idea for the atonement, Farrakhan instantly told Bevel about the million men, and Bevel quickly added the site, the D.C. mall, after asking Farrakhan why only men and not women and getting an adequate answer. The plan was, Bevel said, organized within half a minute of him bringing up the atonement. There are quotes around, I'll look online, but my 2005 paper published by Middlebury College mentions the co-founding at the very end of the paper, and that's sourceable. An interesting event, and Bevel's only nationally important project since the '67 anti-war effort. Randy Kryn (talk) 16:15, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
No offense, but the CFM40 archive article may not meet the standards for a secondary source. I assume your source for this information was Bevel's own recollection. The paper received two comments that disagreed with information about the 1960s. What was the editorial process involved in compiling the archive? There's no information about how it was put together or who is responsible for it. CNN has an entire archive of stories devoted to the MMM and they don't even mention Bevel except as one of the speakers.   Will Beback  talk  18:55, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Historian James Ralph compiled the data for the 40th anniversary of the Chicago Movement, and his and Kale Williams comments on my paper centered on the same item, the private meeting in the room where the Summit Conference was being held. The brief meeting, between Bevel, King, Mayor Daley and Bill Berry, pertained to Daley's offer to assist in the laws and court cases regarding Open Housing, and that he would help to set up commissions to implement it once it passed, but Daley said he didn't want to say so publicly. Bevel, who directed the Chicago Movement, accepted Daley's offer and he and King promised to keep it private. The criticism of Ralph was that there was no evidence Daley helped in the court case, but I confirmed that he did want the 1968 Open Housing Law to pass and did nothing to hinder it, and helped to set commissions up to implement it, as he promised to do in the '66 agreement. Bevel said he lived up to his promise. Kale Williams was active in that movement, and because he wasn't told about the agreement for 24 years or so he couldn't believe it occurred. Bevel told this account of it, without wavering, since at least 1983. The Million Man March, Farrakhan acknowledged Bevel's account of the march in one of his founder's day speeches (a brief quote of that is up on Bevel's website) and he may have talked about it at Bevel's funeral during his long speech there (Youtube has portions if not the entire speech). As I researched all of Bevel's claims (trained and with a degree as a journalist, I stayed with the Bevel story long enough to become an historian, but always used journalistic techniques) nothing he said concerning the '60s movements proved innaccurate, down to small details although once in awhile one of the small details would be slightly inaccurate (what was playing at the movies, for example, during the Open Theater Movement, although he was close in terms of the type of picture). I conducted extensive interviews with movement subjects, researched the existing citations, and took every major point Bevel made and proved them accurate. The Chicago King/Daley/Bevel/Berry agreement was one of the few items without a secondary source because everyone else in the meeting was dead, but, as mentioned, Bevel never changed the details of the story, although in quoting Daley one or two words would shift throughut the years although none which changed the core of what he said to King and Bevel, and Bevel never wavered in talking about the ageement they made. The reason I personally believe the Daley story is true is that Bevel ended the movement but couldn't tell anyone why he did so, (which frustrated him as he was criticized by people working with him who weren't in on the private agreement) and Bevel never ended his movements without an agreement to solve the particular focus and goal of the movement, in this case to legally open-up housing in Chicago to anyone who had the money to pay for a house or an apartment that they wanted to live in. By the way, this data is not used within the article here, and I mention it only to point out that the only academic criticism of any of my published data (although Garrow, Branch, Fairclough, etc. have been kept in the loop and updated since the mid-1980s) is that historian Jim Ralph and Chicago Movement activist Kale Williams did question that one point, and I wanted to address it since you brought it up. Thank you for doing so. Randy Kryn (talk) 19:57, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
The paper doesn't cite any sources, and I get the impression that it's drawn mostly from interviews with Bevel himself. I've written Ralph to inquire about the editorial process involved in vetting the articles in the CFM40 archive, which is part of what determines if a source is reliable for Wikipedia purposes. Since we have Farrakhan saying that Bevel "helped formulate" the event I think we should just quote him until we have other reliable sources for the assertion.   Will Beback  talk  20:52, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Give my best to James Ralph when he gets back to you, haven't seen him in a few years. The 2005 paper, as titled, is a research summary, so, as a summary, it presents data drawn from many years of interviews with Bevel, with researching and verifying those interviews and other published data on Bevel and the Civil Rights Movement, with interviews with other movement figures, and with verifying those interviews. The paper lists much of the past work and published research involved, which point directly to the sourced material used, and also points to the Garrow data from 1989. When one does a Jeff Clark the pathway to the shore must be well mapped for others to follow. Randy Kryn (talk) 00:24, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, for example, what was your source for Bevel's "co-initiating" the MMM/DOA?   Will Beback  talk  00:40, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Will get additional sources on that, which I know exist. The paper itself contains Bevel's version of the initiation of the Million Man March it in its last section, which was devoted to Bevel's activities in the 1990s. This was backed up by people he knew, and I did see Farrakhan quoted as well. It seemed to be known-data by 2005 within the Nation of Islam that Bevel did co-found the march, so my addition was just to report Bevel's information concerning how the creation itself occurred. It has never been used in the articles on wikipedia, either Bevel's or the page on the Million Man March. Randy Kryn (talk) 01:26, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the removal of he line about the march being the largest demonstraton up to that date in American history, how about "one of, if not the, largest demonstration in U.S. history up to that point."? I can think of no others of its size. Bevel's U.N. march in '67, "Hands across America" but that was spread out and not in one place, as was the October 1969 anti-war moratorium (the November single-city Moratorium in D.C. was attended by an estimated half-a-million). Which other events qualify? In fact, and interestingly, Bevel may have initiated or co-initiated the two largest demonstrations in American history at the time they took place. Randy Kryn (talk) 14:12, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't see any claim about being the largest gathering in the Million Man March article. Find a reliable source and we can add it.   Will Beback  talk  19:25, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Inline citations and research[edit]

There are very few citations in the article, so it's impossible to tell where the information is coming from. Would it be possible to add citations so that the material can be verified?   Will Beback  talk  19:12, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

I'll do so. Many of those can be found in my article in the David Garrow book, other people's data, major newspaper reports, the words of other civil rights activists including King, etc. Give me a few days or a week and I'll get those listed. Thanks for the questions, they keep the data flowing and brings back memories as well. Randy Kryn (talk) 19:57, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I've added a number of {Citation needed|date=November 2009} templates throught the article to point to the assertions that are most in need of citations. The entire article has had a request for more sources for almost a year. Let's give it to the end of December, then I'll delete any unsourced material.   Will Beback  talk  20:47, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the requst and the time allowed. Many of the citations asked for are from data included in the 1988 David Garrow book We Shall Overcome, Volume II, which prints my 1984 paper with the research-updated 1988 addendum. Garrow also used the '84 paper as a source in his 1986 Pulitzer Prize winning Bearing the Cross, and later noted that I was the first to cite the Ralph Abernathy thesis, up until then unknown to the literature. The '89 Garrow publication was followed up by an appearance at a conference on the 1960s in Madison, Wisconsin, by other publications, and then the 2000 and 2005 papers which updated the research and, as noted above, pointed to the sourced material of all the research within the body of the paper itself. Garrow considered the 1984 paper an important addition to the literature. He agreed to the inclusion of the 1988 addendum which corrected some of the '84 papers data and added major information to it (as did the 2005 paper, which I consider an extension of this research), and the addendum by itself was also considered by Garrow as an important paper in the field by its inclusion in the 1989 volume. This information is mentioned here in relationship to using those papers as reliable sources for citations. Randy Kryn (talk) 01:26, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
A question has arisen about using the 2005 Research Summary paper as a reliable source, due to its not beings vetted by historian James Ralph before he posted it as a representative of Middlebury College. As mentioned above, the paper was an extension and expansion of ongoing research published in the David Garrow book in 1989, and that would seem to place it as a reliable source as defined by Wikipedia. As a 'recognized expert' on the topic, fitting Wikipedia criteria, my other additions to the primary data base on James Bevel, especially those published within academia systems, would seem to apply--especially those items not questioned or opposed by other recognized Civil Rights Movement historians. James Ralph did question one point in the paper, and wrote a detailed researched response to it (that item is not on the Bevel page in question, although it could be with the two research positions referenced). Other major historians (Garrow, Branch, Fairclough) all have read the 2005 paper in question and have not questioned any point in it (at one point Garrow and Fairclough said they would do a peer review of it, and although this was not done it may be because the data within it was without flaw and not debatable). Even though James Ralph did not review every point, he would likely not have published the paper if it had obvious and irresponsible errors. The one point in the paper that he disagreed with he addressed, showing that he carefully read the paper and the data contained within it before publishing. To conclude before this gets too long, the paper, IMHO, fits comfortably within Wikipedia reliable source guidelines and should be allowed as a reference. Randy Kryn (talk) 21:24, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Leaving aside the Kryn paper for the moment, there are many unsourced assertions in the article that have been tagged since November. Unless sources are forthcoming shortly I'll remove them.   Will Beback  talk  22:23, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
I guess I'm overdue on this.   Will Beback  talk  04:33, 13 June 2010 (UTC)


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