Brunswick, GA

Podcast based on an Emory University course "Buried Truths" wins Silver Gavel Award

Andrew Alvarez
Emory University News

A podcast based on a course from Emory University was awarded the Silver Gavel for its latest season of “Buried Truths”. Emory’s own Hank Klibanoff, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, taught the original course.

The latest season of the podcast discussed the 2020’s murder of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man who was pursued and shot to death by three armed white men near Brunswick, Georgia. The podcast was one of the three nominees to receive its 2021 awards for distinguished works.

The Silver Gavel Award is an award that honors outstanding work by those who help improve comprehension of jurisprudence in the United States. The American Bar Association (ABA), the institution that awards the Silver Gavel, and its President, Patricia Lee Refo will present the award during a virtual ceremony on July 13. The event will be free and open to the public.

“What matters most to me is that we got it right and were able to say it clearly,” Klibanoff says. “It’s thrilling to be honored for having accomplished that in telling a story that is surrounded by complicated legal matters.”

Writer Richard Halicks and the production team at the public radio station WABE, along with five Emory undergraduates, worked together with Klibanoff over seven episodes of the podcast to uncover a deep-rooted and centuries-old narrative surrounding Arbery’s murder.

The podcast was one of the first to shed further light and profoundly discuss the case. Previously, Klibanoff’s course Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project mainly discussed and examined killings in the modern civil rights era from 1945 to 1968.

This is not the first time the “Buried Truths” podcast received an award for its work. Previously, the podcast had won the Peabody Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award in 2019 for its debut season that discussed the Black farmer, Isaiah Nixon, who was lynched by two white men in 1948 for voting. The podcast’s second season won the Edward R. Murrow Award for discussing the shooting of a Black teenager named A.C. Hall by two white Macon police officers.

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