First-person diaries, sound portraits, and hidden chapters of history from Peabody Award-winning producer Joe Richman and the Radio Diaries team. From teenagers to octogenarians, prisoners to prison guards, bra saleswomen to lighthouse keepers. The extraordinary stories of ordinary life. Radio Diaries is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
This week, the Senate unanimously passed legislation that would make lynching a federal hate crime. It was a historic moment. Congress has tried and failed to pass antilynching legislation more than 200 times over the course of more than a century.
The Emmett Till Antilynching Act is named for a 14-year-old boy whose murder 67 years ago shocked the nation. Till had traveled from Chicago to the Mississippi Delta to visit family when he was kidnapped, horribly beaten, and killed by white men after allegedly flirting with a white woman. His body was later found in the Tallahatchie river. Today, Emmett Till’s death is considered the spark that ignited the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement.
But few people know about another brazen murder of a Black man that happened just three months later, in a neighboring town in the Delta. Today on the Radio Diaries Podcast, we tell the forgotten story of Clinton Melton.
This episode first aired on NPR in 2020.