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Jerry Mitchell remembers what so many others want to forget. For more than three decades, he worked as an investigative reporter for The Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi. During that time, his dogged reporting helped put four Klansmen in jail after they had eluded justice year after year for their heinous crimes in the 1960s.

Mitchell tells this story of justice delayed and finally done in his new book, Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era, published by Simon & Schuster. Mitchell captures so many of the complexities and contradictions of the Deep South. For example, he writes this: “This was Mississippi, a place where some of the nation’s poorest people live on some of the world’s richest soil, a place with the nation’s highest illiteracy and some of the world’s greatest writers,” and I might add as a resident of Alabama next door, a place also known for being first in religion and last in just about everything else. A place like much of the South, where the churches are full and where racism has so long flourished alongside.

Mitchell joined me on Gospelbound to discuss what compelled him to seek justice, the Christian pretensions of the Ku Klux Klan, and whether the gospel can finally bring healing to this beautiful and broken land.


This episode of Gospelbound is brought to you by Southeastern Seminary. In a changing ministry landscape, Southeastern’s four-year master of divinity and master of business administration program was built on a foundation of rigorous theological training and practical vocational training. Learn more at sebts.edu.

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