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Jerry Mitchell: Race Against Time

February 2 @ 2:00 pm 3:00 pm

Join us to hear investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell, author of Race Against Time, speak about his experience with civil rights.

Mitchell, a Pulitzer-prize finalist and award-winning investigative reporter, will recount experiences from his memoir, Race Against Time, which details how some of the nation’s most notorious murders came to be punished years later.

Mitchell’s work helped put four Klansmen behind bars: Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers; Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers, for ordering the fatal firebombing of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer in 1966; Bobby Cherry, for the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four girls; and Edgar Ray Killen, for helping organize the 1964 killings of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner (popularized by the fictional movie about that case, Mississippi Burning).

Sponsored by eLearning, the TechNests, and the Center for Teaching & Learning, this event promises to delve into prejudice, dehumanization, and how diversity is changing in Mississippi in response to those social ills.

About the author’s book:

On June 21, 1964, more than twenty Klansmen murdered three civil rights workers. The killings, in what would become known as the “Mississippi Burning” case, were among the most brazen acts of violence during the civil rights movement. And even though the killers’ identities, including the sheriff’s deputy, were an open secret, no one was charged with murder in the months and years that followed.

It took forty-one years before the mastermind was brought to trial and finally convicted for the three innocent lives he took. If there is one man who helped pave the way for justice, it is investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell.

In Race Against Time, Mitchell takes readers on the twisting, pulse-racing road that led to the reopening of four of the most infamous killings from the days of the civil rights movement, decades after the fact. His work played a central role in bringing killers to justice for the assassination of Medgar Evers, the firebombing of Vernon Dahmer, the 16th Street Church bombing in Birmingham and the Mississippi Burning case. Mitchell reveals how he unearthed secret documents, found long-lost suspects and witnesses, building up evidence strong enough to take on the Klan. He takes us into every harrowing scene along the way, as when Mitchell goes into the lion’s den, meeting one-on-one with the very murderers he is seeking to catch. His efforts have put four leading Klansmen behind bars, years after they thought they had gotten away with murder.

Race Against Time is an astonishing, courageous story capturing a historic race for justice, as the past is uncovered, clue by clue, and long-ignored evils are brought into the light. This is a landmark book and essential reading for all Americans.


February 2
2:00 pm—3:00 pm
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Current Students


Cain-Cochran Hall
608 Hinds Blvd
Raymond, MS 39154 United States
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