‘He left a great legacy:’ Ceremony to commemorate killing of Black man in Gretna 70 years ago

Roy Brooks and his relatives may get some sense of closure this weekend, when a commemoration ceremony is held at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church in Harvey. Gretna Mayor Belinda Constant will speak, and Parish President Mike Yenni is sending a representative. The commemoration is the outgrowth of an effort by CRRJ.

Gretna family one step closer to justice decades after police killing of Black man

It was a picture that almost never made it to print. According to a story published in the Centennial Review in April 1968, the photographer handed the camera plate to a friend only seconds before Gretna Police smashed the camera. The article with the picture was discovered in 2015 by CRRJ.

Engaging imaginations, Making history

In March 2018, Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley apologized for a crime committed before he was born: the 1947 murder of Henry “Peg” Gilbert. The facts of Gilbert’s death and the impetus for the ceremony came from the work of CRRJ.

A lynching’s long shadow

New York Times Magazine: Elwood Higginbotham was murdered by a mob in 1935. For his descendants, a new historical inquiry into his death offers a chance to confront the past.

CRRJ featured on CBS evening news

A CBS News report (April 9, 2018) highlights the work of CRRJ with the family of Georgia lynching victim Lent Shaw. Among those interviewed are Professor Margaret Burnham and Melissa Nobles.

Great-grandson of lynching victim faces the past: “This is American history”

Lent Shaw was accused of harassing a white woman and lynched when he was 42. The chilling, gruesome image of what happened to him has haunted Shaw’s great-grandson, Evan Lewis, nearly his entire…

Hidden Civil Rights figure Samuel Bacon honored 70 years later

The L.A. Sentinel spoke with Kaylie Simon of CRRJ: “The second part of the project, is to ask the relatives of the people who were killed, ‘what would you like to see happen today?’ ‘What would justice look like to you today?’  Sometimes no legal remedies are available, but our philosophy is the family still deserves acknowledgement, recognition, and repair for what happened.”

Confronting the past: A young man tries to understand the lynching of his great-grandfather

Shondiin Silversmith conducted research for this story with CRRJ as part of her master’s degree program at Northeastern University.

Nearly 8 decades later, an apology for a lynching in Georgia

The fatal cruelties inflicted upon Austin Callaway were acknowledged in this city of 31,000 people when LaGrange’s police chief, Louis M. Dekmar, who is white, issued a rare apology for a Southern lynching.

Recent graduate shines investigative light on 75 year old Civil Rights cold case

Who killed Pvt. Felix Hall? Now, thanks to the work of Alexa Mills, this 75-year-old cold case—America’s first known lynching on a U.S. military base—is finally getting the attention that it deserved some three-quarters of a century ago.

Professor Margaret Burnham on the Walter Scott Case

Dr. Margaret Burnham was interviewed on Al Jazeera English

VT law student investigates racial killings

Baxter Bell’s case is among thousands of similar racially motivated slayings in the South in the mid-20th century that have largely been lost to history — but which continue to reverberate across the…

Truth and reconciliation is coming to America from the grassroots

All over the US, we are witnessing the dawn of a truth and reconciliation movement. There is a rising chorus of voices that is helping us to collectively face an epidemic of racial…

BYU Radio: Racial Killings, Selma

In the coming week, Americans will commemorate the assassination for Martin Luther King Junior. His is the most well-known death of the Civil Rights era. Emmett Till and Medgar Evers are oft-mentioned, too.…

Alabama’s Jim Crow era murders under new spotlight

A number of grisly racially-motivated killings that occurred in Alabama during the Jim Crow era are getting a fresh look. CRRJ is examining the cases as part of a nationwide investigation into the…

The Goal: To Remember Each Jim Crow Killing, From The ’30s On

The state of race relations in the United States has captivated the country for months. But a group of Northeastern University law students is looking to the past to a sometimes forgotten, violent…

The Youngest American Executed Wasn’t Guilty

There was absolutely no evidence against George Stinney, whose parents were forced out of town shortly after his arrest, leaving the 14-year-old with little support during his trial. According to accounts, there was…

When Cold Cases Stay Cold

Several years ago, the FBI began reopening cold cases from that era — 112 at last count — raising hopes among some for justice. In all but about 20, though, the families of…

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