Today in the American South, scores of civil rights murders remain unsolved, uninvestigated, unprosecuted, and untold. Those two legacies of violence and silence still haunt the region and continue to damage race relations in the United States.
Investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell has been re-opening many of these “cold cases” while reporting at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi. His work has resulted in convictions in four cases, and has revealed evidence in several others. Last month, Mitchell was awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius Grant”—a $500,000 award. He talks about his work in an article published today by Editor & Publisher: “Aiding Justice in Civil Rights-era Murder Cases.”
Mitchell is joined by several other reporters doing similar investigations on unsolved Civil Rights-era murder cases in a collaborative project that will launch next month by the Center for Investigative Reporting, Paperny Films, and WNET in New York. Stay tuned.