Logo for Reveal

Reveal

The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX

Reveal’s investigations will inspire, infuriate and inform you. Host Al Letson and an award-winning team of reporters deliver gripping stories about caregivers, advocates for the unhoused, immigrant families, warehouse workers and formerly incarcerated people, fighting to hold the powerful accountable. The New Yorker described Reveal as “a knockout … a pleasure to listen to, even as we seethe.” A winner of multiple Peabody, duPont, Emmy and Murrow awards, Reveal is produced by the nation’s first investigative journalism nonprofit, The Center for Investigative Reporting, and PRX. From unearthing exploitative working conditions to exposing the nation’s racial disparities, there’s always more to the story. Learn more at revealnews.org/learn.

© 2024

Reveal’s investigations will inspire, infuriate and inform you. Host Al Letson and an award-winning team of reporters deliver gripping stories about caregivers, advocates for the unhoused, immigrant families, warehouse workers and formerly incarcerated people, fighting to hold the powerful accountable. The New Yorker described Reveal as “a knockout … a pleasure to listen to, even as we seethe.” A winner of multiple Peabody, duPont, Emmy and Murrow awards, Reveal is produced by the nation’s first investigative journalism nonprofit, The Center for Investigative Reporting, and PRX. From unearthing exploitative working conditions to exposing the nation’s racial disparities, there’s always more to the story. Learn more at revealnews.org/learn.

© 2024
148hr 24min
Thumbnail for "40 Acres and a Lie Part 1".
Our historical investigation found 1,250 formerly enslaved Black Americans who were given land – only to see it returned to their enslavers.
Thumbnail for "In Bondage to the Law".
A death row conviction in Alabama is called into question.
Thumbnail for "40 Acres and a Lie Part 3".
Calls for reparations were ignored for decades. Now, local governments are taking up the cause – and outrage is growing.
Thumbnail for "40 Acres and a Lie Part 2 ".
We trace “40 acres” land titles to a staggeringly beautiful sea island off the coast of Georgia that’s now a wealthy gated community.
Thumbnail for "A Battle Over Preserving the Lakota Language".
We’re sharing a story from our friends at NPR’s Code Switch podcast about a debate over how to preserve the Lakota language.
Thumbnail for "The Great Arizona Water Grab".
As wells run dry in the Arizona desert, a race for profits is underway.
Thumbnail for "40 Acres and a Lie Trailer".
Our new three-part series launches June 15th, exploring the legacy of America’s broken promise to formerly enslaved Black people.
Thumbnail for "Sunblocked: Resistance to Solar in Farm Country".
Rural communities across the U.S. push back against large-scale solar projects, sparking a debate on renewable energy and local impact.
Thumbnail for "Not All Votes Are Created Equal".
America’s Founding Fathers created a political system that favored an elite minority. Today minority rule is threatening U.S. democracy like never before.
Thumbnail for "Lessons From a Mass Shooter’s Mother".
Ten years after a horrific massacre, the killer’s mother is trying to help experts prevent the next tragedy.
Thumbnail for "The Racist Hoax That Changed Boston".
After a pregnant woman’s murder, police searched for a Black killer. They were chasing a lie.
Thumbnail for "We Regret to Inform You".
California police are using a controversial tactic after someone dies in their custody.
Thumbnail for "The Spy Inside Your Smartphone".
Spying on journalists with software designed to capture criminals.
Thumbnail for "After the Crash".
A brand-new police force chased a Native teen to his death – and then shut down with no explanation.
Thumbnail for "In Gaza, Every Pregnancy is Complicated".
A mother in Gaza searches for a safe place to deliver her baby.
Thumbnail for "Escaping Putin’s War Machine".
An underground network of Russian anti-war activists is helping soldiers abandon Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Thumbnail for "Cashing in on Troubled Teens".
The big business of warehousing foster children.
Thumbnail for "A Whistleblower in New Folsom Prison".
A correctional officer is found dead days after reporting misconduct in his unit.
Thumbnail for "America Goes Psychedelic, Again".
Psychedelic drugs show promise in treating PTSD and other mental health challenges.
Thumbnail for "Blue State Barriers and the Messy Map of Abortion Access".
In New Mexico, when the only hospital in a vast rural county turns Catholic, reproductive health care is suddenly on the line.
Thumbnail for "The Suspect Detective".
A detective on the rise in Philadelphia abuses his power – would he get away with it?
Thumbnail for "Listening in on Russia’s War in Ukraine".
Secret recordings capture the brutality of Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Thumbnail for "The Plague in the Shadows".
Decades before COVID-19, AIDS tore through the U.S., but there was little help for the most vulnerable communities.
Thumbnail for "Alphabet Boys Revealed".
How an FBI informant infiltrated the racial justice movement.
Thumbnail for "The 13th Step".
Many women seeking help at addiction treatment centers face sexual misconduct by people who work there.
Thumbnail for "The Battle for Clean Energy in Coal Country".
As more states move to renewable energy, Montana is doubling down on fossil fuels.
Thumbnail for "Black in the Sunshine State".
Host Al Letson goes home to Florida to find a changed state.
Thumbnail for "The Double Life of a Civil Rights Icon".
Photographer Ernest Withers chronicled the civil rights movement. Did he also betray it?
Thumbnail for "Sunblocked: Resistance to Solar in Farm Country".
Resistance to solar is growing in rural communities.
Thumbnail for "Fancy Galleries, Fake Art".
How did two New York galleries sell more than $80 million in fake art?
Thumbnail for "It's Not Easy Going Green    ".
Inside a climate solution that doesn’t hold up.
Thumbnail for "Gaza: A War of Weapons and Words".
The loss of civilian life in Gaza and Israel has sparked outrage and protest, but a group of grieving parents continues quietly working for peace.
Thumbnail for "Hidden Confessions of the Mormon Church".
An unprecedented look at the methods the Mormon church uses to keep child sexual abuse cases secret.
Thumbnail for "Havana Syndrome".
Reporters from VICE World News try to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding a bizarre illness.
Thumbnail for "Locked Up: The Prison Labor That Built Business Empires".
After the Civil War, Southern companies profited off a racist system called convict leasing.
Thumbnail for "In Bondage to the Law ".
A death row conviction in Alabama is called into question.
Thumbnail for "We Regret to Inform You".
A controversial tactic used after the police kill someone.
Thumbnail for "The Welfare-to-Work Industrial Complex".
A lucrative industry is built on people in need.
Thumbnail for "America Goes Psychedelic, Again".
Psychedelic drugs show promise in treating PTSD and other mental health challenges.
Thumbnail for "Cashing in on Troubled Teens".
How the country’s biggest psychiatric hospital chain is profiting off kids trapped in a broken child welfare system.
Thumbnail for "From Victim to Suspect".
A young mom reports a sexual assault to police – but that doesn’t solve her problem. It creates a new one.
Thumbnail for "How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong".
Many schools teach reading using strategies that can actually make it harder for kids to learn.
Thumbnail for "Alphabet Boys Revealed".
How an FBI informant infiltrated the racial justice movement.
Thumbnail for "The Spy Inside Your Smartphone".
Spying on journalists with software designed to capture criminals.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 7: Reasonable Doubt".
New revelations cast doubt on the idea that Billey Joe Johnson accidentally killed himself.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 6: Mississippi Justice".
Justice in George County has never been equal.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 5: Star Crossed".
Billey Joe Johnson was a Black boy dating a White girl. That made the story behind his death even more complicated.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 4: The Investigator".
A Mississippi Bureau of Investigation detective wonders whether Billey Joe Johnson’s case should be reopened.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 3: The Autopsy".
Conflicting autopsy reports raise more questions about how Billey Joe Johnson died.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 2: The Aftermath".
On the morning of Billey Joe Johnson’s death, crime scene tape separates the Johnsons from their son’s body.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 1: The Promise".
Billey Joe Johnson Jr. was a high school football star headed for the big time.
Thumbnail for "The Great Arizona Water Grab".
A surprising group of investors tries to profit off a water crisis in the desert.
Thumbnail for "It's Not Easy Going Green".
Inside a climate solution that doesn’t hold up.
Thumbnail for "Guatemala’s War on Journalists".
Politicians are cracking down on independent journalists, setting back efforts to expose corruption and impunity.
Thumbnail for "The Pentagon Papers: Secrets, Lies and Leaks".
The secret report that changed the Vietnam War.
Thumbnail for "They Followed Doctors’ Orders. The State Took Their Babies.".
When addiction treatment costs moms their babies.
Thumbnail for "The Culture War Goes to College".
We go inside a Florida college battling Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Thumbnail for "The Welfare-to-Work Industrial Complex".
A lucrative industry is built on people in need.
Thumbnail for "The Post-Roe Health Care Crisis ".
The dangerous consequences of abortion bans.
Thumbnail for "The Battle for Clean Energy in Coal Country".
As more states move to renewable energy, Montana is doubling down on fossil fuels.
Thumbnail for "Weapons With Minds of Their Own".
The future of warfare combines computer algorithms and lethal weapons.
Thumbnail for "The Long Campaign to Turn Birth Control Into the New Abortion".
The fall of Roe v. Wade has ended the constitutional right to abortion, and many in the religious right have a new goal: undermining trust in hormonal contraception – including the pill.
Thumbnail for "The Border Patrol’s Fearless 5%".
The U.S. Border Patrol says it wants more female agents, but for decades, the number of women has been stuck around 5%.
Thumbnail for "No Retreat: The Dangers of Stand Your Ground".
A decade after Trayvon Martin, laws keep expanding.
Thumbnail for "The COVID Tracking Project Part 3".
The final episode of our three-part series takes listeners inside the failed federal response to COVID-19 and explores the massive volunteer effort to collect data about the disease.
Thumbnail for "The COVID Tracking Project Part 2".
Part two of our three-part series takes listeners inside the failed federal response to COVID-19 and explores the massive volunteer effort to collect data about the disease.
Thumbnail for "The COVID Tracking Project Part 1".
This three-part series takes listeners inside the failed federal response to COVID-19 and explores the massive volunteer effort to collect data about the disease.
Thumbnail for "Havana Syndrome".
A team of reporters from VICE World News tries to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding a bizarre illness.
Thumbnail for "The Suspect Detective".
A detective on the rise in Philadelphia abuses his power – would he get away with it?
Thumbnail for "Buried Secrets: America’s Indian Boarding Schools Part 2".
A Catholic boarding school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is seeking forgiveness for its troubled history. But school survivors want justice first.
Thumbnail for "Buried Secrets: America’s Indian Boarding Schools Part 1".
After decades of stripping away Native American identity from its students, a Catholic boarding school seeks to help the community heal.
Thumbnail for "From Victim to Suspect".
A young mom reports a sexual assault to the police – but that doesn’t solve her problem. It creates a new one.
Thumbnail for "Baseball Strikes Out".
How steroid use became the biggest scandal in baseball history.
Thumbnail for "Listening in on Russia’s War in Ukraine".
Secret recordings capture the brutality of Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Thumbnail for "How a 7-Year Prison Sentence Turns Into Over 100".
How 97 years got added to one man’s prison sentence.
Thumbnail for "How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong".
Many schools teach reading using strategies that can actually make it harder for kids to learn.
Thumbnail for "Inside the Global Fight for White Power".
White nationalists around the globe are working together to disrupt multicultural societies and Western democracies.
Thumbnail for "A Miracle Cure for AIDS or Snake Oil?".
In the 1990s, a Black doctor said he may have found a cure for AIDS – but federal regulators insisted it didn’t work. What was its true potential? This episode is a partnership with the Serum podcast from WHYY and Local Trance Media.
Thumbnail for "Locked Up: The Prison Labor That Built Business Empires".
After the Civil War, Southern companies profited off a racist system called convict leasing.
Thumbnail for "The Double Life of a Civil Rights Icon".
Photographer Ernest Withers chronicled the civil rights movement. Did he also betray it?
Thumbnail for "Drilling Down on Fossil Fuels and Climate Change".
The U.S. has promised to move away from fossil fuels, but the natural gas industry is booming.
Thumbnail for "‘Traitors Get Shot’".
As the threat of criminal charges for the January 6th insurrection looms over Donald Trump, a look into the case against the first insurrectionist to be prosecuted.
Thumbnail for "A Young Doctor Reflects on COVID".
As COVID-19 has now claimed more than 1 million lives in the United States, we follow a rookie doctor who graduated at the height of the pandemic.
Thumbnail for "The Suspect Detective".
A detective on the rise in Philadelphia abuses his power – would he get away with it?
Thumbnail for "No Retreat: The Dangers of Stand Your Ground".
A decade after Trayvon Martin, laws keep expanding.
Thumbnail for "The Bitter Work Behind Sugar".
Sugarcane cutters protest the grueling work and living conditions.
Thumbnail for "A Reckoning at Amazon".
Who is shipping out all those holiday season packages? As Amazon has made huge profits, their worker injury rates are higher than other companies.
Thumbnail for "How Democracy Survived the Midterm Elections".
Americans are still fighting over who won the 2020 election, and many people expected the midterms to create more chaos. But mostly they didn’t. Why?
Thumbnail for "The City (Revealed)".
A giant illegal dump appears in a Chicago community.
Thumbnail for "Climate Makers and Takers".
As sea levels rise, two communities in Nigeria adapt in radically different ways.
Thumbnail for "The Ballot Boogeymen".
Extreme new laws built on Trump’s Big Lie crack down on a phantom problem: widespread voter fraud.
Thumbnail for "Buried Secrets: America’s Indian Boarding Schools Part 2".
For more than a century, the U.S. took Native children away from their families and forced them into boarding schools. Today, Native students are reclaiming their heritage.
Thumbnail for "Buried Secrets: America’s Indian Boarding Schools Part 1".
After decades of stripping away Native American identity from its students, a Catholic boarding school seeks to help the community heal.
Thumbnail for "The Long Campaign to Turn Birth Control Into the New Abortion".
The fall of Roe v. Wade has ended the constitutional right to abortion and many in the religious right have a new goal: undermining trust in hormonal contraception – including the pill.
Thumbnail for "Minor League Pay".
How the baseball industry created an entire workforce exempt from being paid minimum wage and overtime – and why baseball players aren’t the only ones crying foul.
Thumbnail for "After Ayotzinapa: Arrests and Intrigue".
Mexico’s investigation into the disappearance of 43 college students is making headlines, and also ruffling feathers.
Thumbnail for "Locked Up: The Prison Labor That Built Business Empires".
Companies across the South profited off the forced labor of people in prison after the Civil War – a racist system known as convict leasing.
Thumbnail for "The Big Grift Behind the Big Lie".
The group True the Vote profits off spreading “the big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen by voter fraud.
Thumbnail for "American Rehab: Shadow Workforce".
For decades, work-based rehabs have spread across the country. No one knows how many are out there, so we counted them ourselves.
Thumbnail for "American Rehab: A Venomous Snake".
After amassing a small fortune, Synanon turns from a revolutionary rehab into a violent cult with mass sterilizations and a rattlesnake in a mailbox.
Thumbnail for "American Rehab: A Desperate Call ".
American Rehab exposes a treatment for drug addiction that turns tens of thousands of people a year into an unpaid workforce.
Thumbnail for "Afghanistan's Recognition Problem".
“Do you recognize the Taliban?”
Thumbnail for "My Neighbor, the Suspected War Criminal".
The U.S. fails to charge alleged war criminals.
Thumbnail for "No Retreat: The Dangers of Stand Your Ground".
A decade after Trayvon Martin, laws keep expanding.
Thumbnail for "Inside the Global Fight for White Power".
White nationalists around the globe are working together to disrupt multicultural societies and Western democracies.
Thumbnail for "All the President’s Pardons".
The presidential pardon system is backlogged and broken.
Thumbnail for "Can Our Climate Survive Bitcoin?".
Bitcoin uses enormous amounts of power, and it’s heating up the planet.
Thumbnail for "Lost in Transplantation ".
Getting organs to patients waiting for a transplant is a matter of life and death. Yet transportation errors are putting patients in danger.
Thumbnail for "The Religious Right Mobilized to End Roe. Now What?".
The religious forces for and against abortion.
Thumbnail for "Abortion in the Crosshairs".
An investigation into the 1998 murder of a New York abortion provider exposed a network of violent anti-abortion activists.
Thumbnail for "Baseball Strikes Out".
How steroid use became the biggest scandal in baseball history.
Thumbnail for "Fighting Fire with Fire".
How do we learn to live with wildfires?
Thumbnail for "Shooting in the Dark: Why Gun Reform Keeps Failing".
Gun-related deaths in the U.S. are at an all-time high. Why efforts to stop the violence fall short.
Thumbnail for "‘Traitors Get Shot’".
Guy Reffitt is the first person to stand trial for taking part in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. His son secretly recorded him and gave the tapes to the FBI.
Thumbnail for "A Reckoning at Amazon".
Workers at Amazon were getting hurt on the job more than at other companies. Those records were under wraps – until our reporting uncovered them.
Thumbnail for "Crossing the Line: The Fight Over Roe".
How a longtime safe haven for abortion has become a battleground.
Thumbnail for "How a 7-Year Prison Sentence Turns Into Over 100".
Anthony Gay was sentenced to seven years in prison on a parole violation but ended up with 97 years added to his sentence. How does that happen?
Thumbnail for "My Neighbor, the Suspected War Criminal".
The U.S. fails to charge alleged war criminals.
Thumbnail for "Handcuffed and Unhoused".
Homelessness can lead to a cycle of arrests that only makes things worse.
Thumbnail for "Losing Ground".
Why do Black families make up less than 1% of American farmers?
Thumbnail for "Campaigning on the Big Lie".
Many Republicans are campaigning on the lie that the 2020 election was stolen and promising to change the way elections are run in the future.
Thumbnail for "Can Our Climate Survive Bitcoin?".
Bitcoin is hot – and it’s heating up the planet, too. Making bitcoin uses enormous amounts of power.
Thumbnail for "A Racial Reckoning at Doctors Without Borders".
There’s no simple cure for what’s ailing it.
Thumbnail for "‘To Shoot and Fight for My Home’".
Voices from the front lines in Ukraine, where the Russian invasion has forced millions to flee.
Thumbnail for "Behind the Blue Wall".
A viral video embarrassed a police captain and exposed a toxic work culture.
Thumbnail for "The Bitter Work Behind Sugar".
Sugarcane cutters protest the grueling work and living conditions.
Thumbnail for "Who Has Power and How Do They Wield It?".
Three investigative stories grapple with issues of power.
Thumbnail for "A Strike at the Heart of Roe".
The most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country is now in effect in Texas. How the Lone Star State trumped Roe v. Wade.
Thumbnail for "Emission Control".
If we want to stop the Earth from heating up, we need to deal with methane.
Thumbnail for "After Ayotzinapa Chapter 3: All Souls".
A mother prays that she will one day know the truth about what happened to her son.
Thumbnail for "After Ayotzinapa Chapter 2: The Cover-Up".
A DEA agent in Chicago thinks he knows why Mexican students were ambushed.
Thumbnail for "After Ayotzinapa Chapter 1: The Missing 43".
A flawed investigation into 43 missing students in Mexico brings a new quest for the truth.
Thumbnail for "Take No Prisoners".
During World War II, military commanders tried to conceal an American war crime.
Thumbnail for "Viral Lies".
One year after conspiracy theorists stormed the Capitol, we look at how misinformation spreads.
Thumbnail for "When Lighting the Voids".
An audio drama inspired by Reveal’s investigation into a deadly explosion at a Mississippi shipyard
Thumbnail for "Handcuffed and Unhoused".
Homelessness can lead to a cycle of arrests that only makes things worse.
Thumbnail for "Fancy Galleries, Fake Art".
How did two NYC galleries sell more than $80 million in fake art?
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 7: Reasonable Doubt".
New revelations cast doubt on the idea that Billey Joe Johnson accidentally killed himself.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 6: Mississippi Justice".
Justice in George County has never been equal.
Thumbnail for "Amazon Leaks".
Amazon knows a lot about you.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 5: Star Crossed ".
Billey Joe Johnson was a Black boy dating a White girl. That made the story behind his death even more complicated.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 4: The Investigator".
A Mississippi Bureau of Investigation detective wonders whether the case should be reopened.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 3: The Autopsy".
Conflicting autopsy reports raise more questions about how Billey Joe Johnson died.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 2: The Aftermath".
On the morning of Billey Joe Johnson’s death, crime scene tape separates the Johnsons from their son’s body.
Thumbnail for "Mississippi Goddam Chapter 1: The Promise".
Billey Joe Johnson Jr. was a high school football star headed for the big time.
Thumbnail for "When Abusers Keep Their Guns".
She warned police her abusive boyfriend had an illegal gun. He still kept it.
Thumbnail for "Preview Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe".
Exclusive preview of Reveal's new 7-part series.
Thumbnail for "Preview Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe".
Exclusive preview of Reveal's new 7-part series.
Thumbnail for "Weapons with minds of their own".
The future of warfare combines computer algorithms and lethal weapons.
Thumbnail for "A Racial Reckoning at Doctors Without Borders".
There’s no simple cure for what’s ailing it.
Thumbnail for "The Bitter Work Behind Sugar".
Sugarcane cutters protest the grueling work and living conditions.
Thumbnail for "Forever Wars".
On 9/11, the U.S. swore to “never forget.” But who gets remembered?
Thumbnail for "Fighting Fire with Fire".
How do we learn to live with wildfires?
Thumbnail for "The Jail Tapes in the Dumpster".
A reporter digs into a teen’s murder conviction.
Thumbnail for "For 20 years, I saw no peace".
As the Taliban take over Kabul, an Afghan poet, a journalist fielding desperate phone calls, and an American veteran reflect on the past and future of the country.
Thumbnail for "Minor violations".
Shelter staff have called police on migrant kids – who can end up arrested, jailed or even tased.
Thumbnail for "Juvenile (In)justice".
Wyoming locks up kids at one of the highest rates in the nation. One mother tells the story of how her daughter’s fight on a school bus snowballed into incarceration and tragedy.
Thumbnail for "The teen reporter, the evictions and the church".
Three stories from local reporters who uncovered injustice.
Thumbnail for "Into the COVID ICU".
Dr. Paloma Marin-Nevarez graduated from medical school during the pandemic. We follow the rookie doctor for her first months working at a hospital in Fresno, California, as she grapples with isolation, anti-mask rallies and an overwhelming number of deaths.
Thumbnail for "Baseball Strikes Out".
How steroid use became the biggest scandal in baseball history.
Thumbnail for "Timber Wars".
Thirty years ago, activists and scientists turned a fight over the spotted owl and ancient trees into one of the biggest environmental conflicts of the century. The process transformed the way we see – and fight over – the natural world.
Thumbnail for "The Ticket Trap".
Clever ticket sellers try to cash in on unsuspecting customers.
Thumbnail for "Weapons with minds of their own".
The future of warfare combines computer algorithms and lethal weapons.
Thumbnail for "Monumental Lies".
Statues celebrating Confederates and conquistadors keep old myths alive.
Thumbnail for "Emission control".
If we want to stop the Earth from heating up, we need to deal with methane.
Thumbnail for "Viral Lies".
From anti-vaxxers to QAnon, we look at how misinformation spreads.
Thumbnail for "The Mystery of Mountain Jane Doe".
In 1969, an unknown woman was found dead off a remote trail.
Thumbnail for "The Pentagon Papers: Secrets, Lies and Leaks".
The secret report that changed the Vietnam War.
Thumbnail for "The Bad Place".
The graffiti says it all: “This is a bad place.” Why do states send children to facilities run by Sequel, after dozens of cases of abuse?
Thumbnail for "Why Police Reform Fails".
Six years after Ferguson, St. Louis hasn’t seen a single substantive police reform. A group of young Black leaders have instead set their sights higher: taking control of city politics.
Thumbnail for "Banking on Inequity".
Congress spent hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue small businesses hurt by the pandemic. But Paycheck Protection Program money disproportionately went to White neighborhoods, leaving communities of color behind.
Thumbnail for "The Rise and Fall of Madoff's Ponzi Scheme".
After Bernie Madoff’s death, we dig into how he pulled off his scheme.
Thumbnail for "The Jail Tapes in the Dumpster".
A reporter digs into a teen’s murder conviction.
Thumbnail for "The Robert Mueller of Latin America".
Guatemala sends more migrants to the U.S. than anywhere in Central America. What is driving so many people to leave?
Thumbnail for "Sick on the Inside".
The U.S. has operated a system of private “shadow prisons” to house immigrants convicted of federal crimes for decades.
Thumbnail for "Minor League Pay".
How the baseball industry created an entire workforce exempt from being paid minimum wage and overtime – and why baseball players aren’t the only ones crying foul.
Thumbnail for "Juvenile (In)justice".
Wyoming locks up kids at the highest rate in the nation. One mother tells the story of how her daughter’s fight on a school bus snowballed into incarceration and tragedy.
Thumbnail for "Protecting Kids from Abuse".
An Army officer speaks up about a disturbing pattern on military bases: kids sexually assaulting other kids. He says that for years, the Army neglected these cases.
Thumbnail for "The Unpaid Cost of Elder Care".
An investigation of wage theft, harassment and intimidation in the care-home industry.
Thumbnail for "Remember Me This Way".
Each life lost to COVID-19 leaves a hole. We hear the story of one man, a father of six and Latino community leader in Fresno, California, who loved to sing.

40 Acres and a Lie Part 1

Thumbnail for "40 Acres and a Lie Part 1".
June 15, 202450min 19sec

Our historical investigation found 1,250 formerly enslaved Black Americans who were given land – only to see it returned to their enslavers.

Patricia Bailey’s four-bedroom home sits high among the trees in lush Edisto Island, South Carolina. It’s a peaceful place where her body healed from multiple sclerosis. It’s also the source of her generational wealth.

Bailey built this house on land that was passed down by her great-great-grandfather, Jim Hutchinson, who was enslaved on Edisto before he was freed and became a landowner. 

“I know this is sacred land here,” Bailey says, “’cause it's my ancestors and I feel it.” 

Union General William T. Sherman’s Special Field Orders, No. 15 – better known as 40 acres and a mule – implied a better life in the waning days of the Civil War. Hutchinson is among the formerly enslaved people who received land through the field orders, which are often thought of as a promise that was never kept. But 40 acres and a mule was more than that. 

It was real.

Over a more than two-year investigation, our partners at the Center for Public Integrity have unearthed thousands of records once buried in the National Archives. In them, they found more than 1,200 formerly enslaved people who were given land by the federal government through the field orders – and then saw that land taken away. 

None of the land Bailey lives on today is part of Hutchinson’s 40 acres. Instead, her family’s wealth is built on her ancestor’s determination to get and keep land of his own, after losing what he thought he had gained through the field orders.

This week on Reveal, with our partners at the Center for Public Integrity, we bring you the first in a three-part series in which we tell the history of an often-misunderstood government program. We explore a reparation that wasn’t – and the wealth gap that remains.