George W. Forbes was a renowned journalist and editor of two black-owned newspapers in Boston. Forbes is best known as the co-founder of the Boston Guardian, a black newspaper.
Forbes was born in Mississippi around 1864 before the Civil War ended. Both his parents had been slaves and encouraged Forbes to do well in his studies.
Before leaving Mississippi, Forbes spent time working labor jobs and on farms. He left the state permanently and moved to Ohio, where he attended Wilberforce University.
By the mid-1880s, Forbes had relocated to Boston. After saving enough money, he enrolled at Amherst College where he graduated in 1892. After completing college, Forbes moved back to Boston.
Once back in Boston, Forbes joined an informal group of black Boston activists, known as the “radical.” The most prominent member of the group was William Monroe Trotter. In the autumn after his graduation, Forbes founded the Boston Courant, the second African-American newspaper in Boston.
Forbes founded the Boston Guardian along with William Trotter in 1903. He became well-known for his editorials that attacked Booker T. Washington. After a disagreement with Trotter in 1903, Forbes left the paper. He later became involved with the founding of the Niagara Movement in a small degree. George Forbes died on March 10, 1927.
African American Social Leaders and Activist