New Television Show Investigates Civil Rights-Era Cold Cases

25 Feb

The Injustice Files , a new program that investigates racially motivated murders committed during the time of the Civil Rights Movement, premiered February 18 on Investigation Discovery. The series follows filmmaker Keith Beauchamp and members of the FBI as they attempt to solve these cases, which are drawn from a list created by the FBI for its Civil Rights Cold Case Initiative.

The stories covered in the series reveal the violent resistance to integration that took place in many American communities. Often, local police were complicit and the murderers were never even questioned about their crimes.

“Unfortunately, people are still afraid to talk to authority figures when they talk about these unsolved civil rights murder cases,” Beauchamp told an interviewer.

He hopes that the series will encourage witnesses or anyone with information about the crimes to come forward.

The filmmaker’s previous works include The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till and Wanted Justice: Johnnie Mae Chappell. In his exhaustive investigation of cold cases, Beauchamp made use of research files created by the producers of Eyes on the Prize. Those materials form part of the Henry Hampton Collection at the Film and Media Archive.

The first episode of The Injustice Files deals with the case of Wharlest Jackson, a black man who was murdered in a Natchez, Mississippi bombing in 1967. The second show is about the unsolved murder of Oneal Moore and will air at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 25. Check the  Investigation Discovery website for more details.

“It’s so important to tell these stories, to have a cleansing dialogue in this country about race,” Beauchamp said.

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