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Forbes Hill Obituary

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Title

Forbes Hill Obituary

Description

Obituary for Forbes Hill written by a former colleague of Mr. Hill and republished on a blog. Included in the discussion are his contributions to Queens College, sense of political responsibility, and battle with cancer.

Subject

Hill, Forbes I.

Creator

Gumpert, Gary

Source

ForbesHillCollection.Box1.Folder9

Publisher

Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)

Date

2008-11-11

Rights

This material may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). We welcome you to make fair use of the content accessible on this website as defined by copyright law. Please note that you are responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

Format

Image
JPEG
454125 bytes
338396 bytes

Language

English

Type

Text

Text

THE SENSES OF RHETORIC

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2008

Forbes I. Hill
This obituary for Forbes Hill appeared in CRTNET this week.

Gary Gumpert, listra@optonline.net

I am sad to report the death of professor, singer, social activist Forbes I. Hill on November 5, 2008. Mercifully he was aware and gratified before leaving us that Barak Obama was elected the 44TH president of the United States.

I was a long-time colleague of Forbes Hill at Queens College of the City University of New York. We both arrived at this unique city university in the 1960s. I knew him as a scholar with degrees from San Diego State University, the University of Oregon, and Cornell University. We shared the "sturm and drang" of a changing discipline and a time of social upheaval. I came from the "media" silo and Forbes from the tradition of "rhetoric." It was an exciting time of academic change that would shape the communication discipline for the 21st century. We shared Aristotle, but argued about the importance of media upon the new rhetoric. We both taught in a large multi-media lecture room enjoying and being stimulated by the magic of the energized and socially conscious students of that time. I saw Forbes change and absorb and reflect the changing times and field.

While a long time colleague, I have become aware that I only knew a portion of the man. I knew he was a passionate singer, and political activist. He was one of the founding faces of the Professional Staff Congress, the professors' union of the City University of New York. He was chairman of the Queens College chapter. We shared the anti-war sentiments of the 70's but I was unaware of the extent and depth of his social and political conscience.

We found out about Forbes death when one of my colleagues noticed his obituary in the New York Times. We had been aware of Forbes' long and dignified battle with prostate cancer. That story was reported in the New York Times last November. "Mr. Hill seems ready for a time when treating his cancer is no longer the right approach, replaced instead by a focus on preparing for the end of his life." His courage and relationship to community emerged in the interfaith memorial tribute held at the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims held in Brooklyn on November 9th. It was a moving testament to a long and meaningful life.

It was a time to remember a colleague and to learn more about what we did not know. The biographical information included in the memorial program told of Forbes growing up in California and his long college years during which he picked cherries, worked in the

cannery and roamed around the country during which time he "met all kinds of people, from migrant laborers to fellow intellectuals. During this period he became active in progressive politics and causes." Forbes was born in 1928 and something that one of his three children or his wife Lynn mentioned in their eloquent comments caught my attention and upon returning home inspired me search the New York Times archives for mention of my former colleague.

A 1948 news item reported that "five campaign workers for Henry A. Wallace reported tonight that a band of men had dragged them from their headquarters here, and drove them ten miles out of town where they were released with a warning to 'stay out of Augusta' ...Forbes Hill, 23 years old, had a black eye and a torn shirt and two of the women showed bruises when they reported the incident at Grovestown, GA., fifteen miles west of this city."

How much do we know about each other before it is too late?

Gary Gumpert
Professor Emeritus
Queens College

CRTNET
November 11, 2008, Number 10645

Communication Research and Theory Network a service of the National Communication Association www.natcom.org/CRTNET
POSTED BY TOM BENSON AT 8:29 AM

LABELS: CORNELL UNIVERSITY, CRTNET, FORBES I. HILL, GARY GUMPERT, QUEENS COLLEGE

NO COMMENTS:

Original Format

Paper
Website Printout
8.5 x 11 inches (216 x 279 mm)

Citation

Gumpert, Gary, “Forbes Hill Obituary,” Queens College Civil Rights Archives, accessed May 17, 2022, http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/civilrights/items/show/328.

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