Unjustifiable Chapter 4: Catching the Devil on All Sides

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The status quo was broken in Birmingham, Alabama, in the weeks after the Bonita Carter killing. The city once known as Bombingham, as the Johannesburg of the South, reeled from protests, and counter-protests from the Ku Klux Klan. A scientist, a former college dean named Richard Arrington who had long been aligned with that white progressive mayor, David Vann, broke away from the mayor to launch his own campaign. A committee formed by Vann to take testimony from witnesses to the shooting – one of the main reasons we can reconstruct the events of the crime – found Officer George Sands had no cause to shoot Carter. Yet Sands remained on the force.

Just sixteen years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched through the city, the election of 1979 would prove pivotal for Black residents exercising their voting power. How would voters decide?

Show Notes:

Guests: Richard Arrington Jr., Richard Mauk, Scott Douglas, Solomon Crenshaw

Creator: John Archibald

Hosts: John Archibald & Roy S. Johnson

Executive Producer: John Hammontree

Producer & Audio Engineer: Alexander Richey

Producers: Amy Yurkanin and Marsha Oglesby

Score: Thad Saajid, Austin Motlow, David Marsh, and Danny Ray Wilkerson, Jr. Additional music contributed by Jeremy Smith.

Music: “Haverford Impromptu #2” by Sun-Ra; and “Lay it Down” by Donnie Fritts


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