Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases

About the Project

The Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project combines original research undertaken by Emory students in courses taught by Profs. Gadsden and Klibanoff with extensive FBI files, court documents, maps, images, photographs, and other primary materials to fill in a neglected chapter of civil rights history.

The website is a digital publication of undergraduate student essays about civil rights era, racially-motivated murders in Georgia. Students in Klibanoff and Gadsden’s civil rights cold case course, taught now for several semesters, researched the cases using primary source material, including documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests and uncovered in the archives. Their work, at the intersection of historical scholarship and investigative journalism, explores the brutal realities of life in the Jim Crow South. The Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases site showcases their essays alongside digitized documents and photographs. It intends to expose civil rights injustices in Georgia and encourage independent research of other unresolved Georgia murders from the era.

Since its launch, this ECDS-developed public history site has attracted attention in Atlanta and beyond.   An interview with Hank Klibanoff, director of Emory’s journalism program, can be heard from WABE, Atlanta’s NPR station.

Support for the project was provided in part by a generous grant from the Andrew M. Mellon Foundation.

Faculty: Hank Kilbanoff and Brett Gadsden