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Hank Klibanoff shines a light on old unresolved killings — and the Ahmaud Arbery case

Hank Klibanoff has done more deep and rich coverage of race and the South than just about anybody alive.

“The Race Beat,” the book he co-wrote with Gene Roberts about how the media covered the civil rights era, won a Pulitzer Prize for history in 2007. And his current project, a podcast called “Buried Truths” through WABE, the NPR station in Atlanta, won a Peabody Award in 2018.

The first two seasons of “Buried Truths” focused on long-ago racially motivated killings of black Georgians. But the most current season tracked a more current case: last year’s death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed after being chased through a neighborhood by three white men in Brunswick, Georgia.

I spoke to Klibanoff as part of WFAE’s Charlotte Podcast Festival, which featured leading podcasters from all over the country.

I learned so much from Hank about not just how a project like “Buried Truths” gets put together, but why he has devoted his life to such difficult work. I pulled the highlights of our talk for this episode.

Show notes:

Other music in this episode:

  • Kai Engel, "January"
  • Lobo Loco, "Halls of Truth"

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Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary, On My Mind, which airs every Monday.