100 Years of African-American Special Agents: Jermicha Fomby

Special Agent Jermicha Fomby has been an agent since joining the Bureau in 2003. He shared his thoughts on his career, the FBI, and the role of African Americans during events in November 2019 marking the 100-year anniversary of the first African-American special agent, James Wormley Jones.


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When I think back and I either meet or know of other African American leaders who come before me, I'm forced to think of what it must've been like for them, especially because now we're celebrating the 100 years.

So, in our faces is the reality that there's those who were the firsts and the seconds and thirds. And when you're there, like right now, we say we're 4.8 percent of the population. But they were, you know, decimal points of the population. So, there's a significant presence in the absence of presence. And I can't imagine what it took for them to do and what it took to make it and be successful and become leaders for those where there was no one else like you.

However, it makes me realize that there's no excuse for me not to continue to push forward to add and improve the idea and the goal of progressive change in developing so that way the leadership matches the diversity of the workforce, which matches the diversity of the population.

I grew up in rural Alabama, right on the heels of segregation. And what I didn't realize back then, but I really know and understand now, especially being an FBI agent and understanding the role that the FBI plays in the primacy of investigations of civil rights, I now can think back and think about, you know, I am where I am because of FBI agents from back in the day that it was not popular to uphold the Constitution, when it was not popular to go against the ideas and the laws of Jim Crow.

And that was done by leadership. So, to be able to be a leader in an organization who has that history of doing that and righting the wrongs of a small group of society for the betterment of the whole, that is something that I'm committed to. And that's something that I would highly encourage for the young African American youth coming forward to be a part of.

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