Press Release


Dan Gediman

For release     

A new podcast series from Spotlight Media

Louisville, Kentucky, September 5, 2020 Spotlight Media announces The Reckoning: Facing the Legacy of Slavery in America, a new podcast series which traces the history and lasting impact of slavery in America by looking at how the institution unfolded in Kentucky.

Over the past several months, Louisville has emerged as what the Washington Post called “the epicenter of the national movement for racial justice.” The killing of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police set off months of nightly protests that put the city, and the state of Kentucky, into the spotlight worldwide.

By addressing the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow oppression in Kentucky, The Reckoning will explore many of the issues that have exploded into public consciousness in 2020.

Kentucky stayed in the Union during the Civil War, seemingly on the right side of the battle over slavery, but the truth is more far more complex. Many Kentuckians fought to hang onto slavery and the wealth their slaves provided. In the years that followed, white citizens campaigned to downplay slavery’s role in the state’s economy and culture while working to deny black citizens a seat at the table.

As part of this story, we will meet members of two families who were deeply affected by the institution of slavery. One is a prominent white family descended from both a major slave trader and one of Kentucky’s largest slave owners, the other an African American family who descend from two people enslaved by the white family. These families reflect how slavery touched nearly every person, place and institution in America, and how the country still needs to reconcile this painful past with the the impact slavery has had on the present day health, wealth and safety of African Americans.

The producer and host of the series is Dan Gediman, who has been producing award-winning programming for public radio for over 35 years, including the NPR series This I Believe, the Audible documentary series The Home Front: Life in America During World War II, and 50 Years After 14 August, which won the duPont-Columbia award, one of the highest honors in broadcasting.

Loretta Williams is a Peabody award-winning reporter, producer, and editor who works on stories that delve into America’s cultural divides. She is the editor for The Reckoning and brings the perspective of a descendent of those who were enslaved.

The series features music by acclaimed Louisville composer Jecorey 1200 Arthur.

Major funding for this series was provided by the Community Foundation of Louisville, the Norton Foundation, the Snowy Owl Foundation, Eleanor Bingham Miller, Augusta Brown Holland and Gill Holland, Jr., Emily Bingham and Stephen Reily, Nina Bonnie, and Victoire Reynal Brown and Owsley Brown III.

More information about the series can be found at


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Production Staff Bios

Production Staff Bios

Dan Gediman

Dan Gediman is a long-time public radio producer whose work has been heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, Jazz Profiles, and This American Life. During his career, he has won many of public broadcasting’s most prestigious awards for works such as Breaking the Cycle: How Do We Stop Child Abuse and I Just Am Who We Are: A Portrait of Multiple Personality Disorder, including the duPont- Columbia Award for his collaboration with famed radio dramatist Norman Corwin, Fifty Years after 14 August. More recently, Dan produced the Audible documentary series The Home Front: Life in America During World War II, which is narrated by Martin Sheen and was nominated for two Audie Awards.

Dan is the Executive Director of This I Believe, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Louisville that produces the podcast series of the same name. He has also edited nine This I Believe books, including the New York Times Bestseller This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women.

Loretta Williams

Loretta Williams is a Peabody award-winning reporter, producer and editor interested in stories that delve into America’s cultural divides. She’s been a producer and editor for NPR and SoundVision Productions. Since 2008 she’s been a freelance journalist working on a wide range of projects such as, the Scene on Radio from the Center for Documentary Studies and the Us & Them podcast. She is the Editor for The Reckoning and brings the perspective of a descendent of those who were (mostly likely) enslaved.

View Google Doc

Unknown African American male breaking hemp on hand brakes in a field of hemp stalk stacks
John Winston Coleman Jr. collection on slavery in Kentucky

Includes The Reckoning logo and featured images, photo captioning info, and production staff bios for September 2020.