If you were an African-American in the 1940s and you wanted to participate in state and local politics, rural Georgia was not a kind or forgiving place. In fact, it could be very dangerous.
That’s the story told by Hank Klibanoff, a journalist and now faculty member at Emory University in Atlanta, in the Buried Truths podcast series, which you can find on the National Public Radio website. At that time, Georgia was solidly Democratic, and the Democratic Party primary election was what you needed to win if you wanted to be governor or any other statewide elected officer.
Black people were specifically barred from voting in the primary until the Supreme Court held that such a system was unconstitutional. When the next election was held, a few blacks in some of the rural counties of south Georgia decided to exercise their rights. Isiah Nixon was murdered because of his decision. Dover Carter, head of the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was beaten nearly senseless as the local sheriff drove by.
That, fortunately, was not the end of the story.
These podcasts are extremely well-produced and compelling. There are six episodes, plus two bonus features. Once you start, you’re likely to get hooked.
Glenn S., a friend of long standing and a newsletter reader, suggested these podcasts to me, and I am grateful he did.
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