Speaking Up for the Silent

The Whole Story: Hank Klibanoff turned a class into an NPR podcast.
Courtesy of WABE

A recent Emory College graduate was working as freelance producer at WABE Radio when she told a colleague about a course she had taken at Emory that was still on her mind: Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project, taught by Pulitzer Prize–winning author and journalist Hank Klibanoff. An idea sparked by that conversation grew into Buried Truths, a new podcast series featuring Klibanoff and the project’s work.

The class, which began in 2011, asks students to take an in-depth look at racially motivated murders that went unpunished in the Jim Crow South. In fall 2015, students studied the case of Isaiah Nixon, a twenty-eight-year-old farmer and father of six who dared to vote in Georgia’s Democratic Party primary in 1948. Afterward, Nixon was killed in front of his wife and children by two white brothers.

With Buried Truths, Klibanoff set out to explore the death of Nixon and also the South at a pivotal time in history. He says the intention was simply to tell an important story, “but people are absolutely linking it to present times. Those stories that deal with police action and police overreaction, people immediately connect to current times.”

The six-episode podcast series, produced by WABE Radio, is available at the NPR website.

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