LAWRENCE — Jerry Mitchell, investigative reporter for the Clarion-Ledger, MacArthur Fellow and co-founder of the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, will talk about his new book, "Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era" (2020).
"Jerry Mitchell: Race Against Time" will take place at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, and be livestreamed via the Hall Center Crowdcast page: www.crowdcast.io/hallcenter
On June 21, 1964, more than 20 Klansmen murdered three civil rights workers. These killings were among the most brazen acts of violence during the civil rights movement. Even though the killers' identities, including the sheriff's deputy, were an open secret, no one was charged with murder in years that followed. It took 41 years before the mastermind behind these murders was brought to trial and convicted for the three lives he took. In "Race Against Time," Mitchell takes readers on the road that led to convictions for the assassination of Medgar Evers, the firebombing of Vernon Dahmer, the 16th Street Church bombing in Birmingham and what came to be known as “the Mississippi Burning case.” Mitchell, who played a key role in this crusade, reveals how he unearthed secret documents, found long-lost suspects and witnesses, and built evidence strong enough to take on the Klan and put four leading Klansmen behind bars, years after they thought they had gotten away with murder.
Formed in 2018, the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization that seeks to empower citizens in their communities by informing and educating the public. By tapping into the existing power of longtime newspapers, TV stations and radio stations across the state, as well as new digital delivery systems, the center is able to deliver its message to the widest audience possible. Through this work, the center empowers Mississippians, helping them ensure that public meetings and records stay public and that democracy works as intended.
Founded in 1947, the Humanities Lecture Series is the oldest continuing speaker series at the University of Kansas. More than two hundred eminent scholars and authors from around the world have participated in the program. For more information, visit: hallcenter.ku.edu.