A Word … With Jason Johnson

Lynching’s Legacy: Emmett Till to George Floyd

Lynching is now a federal crime. It only took a hundred years.

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Episode Notes

This week, Congress passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act to make lynching a federal crime. It’s named for Emmett Till, a Chicago teenager who was brutally killed in Mississippi in 1955. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by historian Lopez Matthews Jr. to discuss the harmful myths about lynching, and how its specter haunts Black Americans to this day.

Guest: Lopez Matthews Jr. is an executive council member for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Podcast production by Jasmine Ellis.

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About the Show

America doesn’t need another conversation about race. At least, not the kind we’ve been having … the ones that are sparked by a crisis and move quickly from shock to empty promises to forgetting. No. What America needs are REAL conversations about race—ones that shine a light on the facts, the history, and the reality of how race plays out in our politics and society. That’s what Slate offers each week on A Word … with Jason Johnson. A veteran political commentator, Johnson will bring his incisive wit to thoughtful discussions with leaders, journalists, and other change-makers who will tell the truth about America’s challenges around race and offer ideas on the way forward.

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