On this page, you can find everything you need to broadcast and promote The Reckoning radio series on your station. On our series page at PRX, you can find automation-ready versions of our first three 58 minute episodes plus promos for each program. In addition, we are providing 4 minute feature stories, tied to each episode, that you can insert into Morning Edition, All Things Considered, or any of your other regular programming to forward promote your airing of the series. The series is also available through the AudioPort distribution system.
And on this page you will find everything you need to promote the series to your listeners and in your community (press release, series logo, staff bios, photos, etc.) Please note that we will be distributing to stations the fourth hour-long episode of the series after the November election, which you may choose to air or not air as you see fit. The first three episodes are produced to work as a stand-alone three-part series, and the fourth episode will be produced as a stand-alone special that will not overtly refer to the previous three episodes.
If you have questions, you can contact us. Thanks for your interest in The Reckoning!
THE RECKONING: FACING THE LEGACY OF SLAVERY IN AMERICA
[city, state, date] The Reckoning: Facing the Legacy of Slavery in Kentucky is a new series of public radio specials which will be broadcast on [date] at [time] on [station]. The Reckoning 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, Kentucky 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.
The Reckoning traces the history and lasting impact of slavery and Jim Crow oppression in Kentucky, exploring many of the issues that have exploded into public consciousness throughout the country 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 of the 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 American’s cultural divides. She is the editor for The Reckoning and brings the perspective of a descendent of those who were enslaved.
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 reckoningradio.org.
Radio Series Summary
Episode One: Invisible History The history of slavery is often taught as a bitter chapter of America’s past that has been rectified. But in Kentucky that history has been rarely acknowledged, and is poorly documented. This has made it particularly difficult for African American families to learn anything about their enslaved ancestors. We’ll meet one Black family just beginning to learn about their family’s connections to a plantation in Louisville.
Episode Two: Recovering History Due to prohibitions against enslaved people learning to read and write, there are only a few written records left behind by formerly enslaved Kentuckians. But thankfully, over 100 people were interviewed during the 1930s about their experiences while enslaved. These narratives, combined with letters and diaries kept by white enslavers, help us better understand the true nature of slavery in Kentucky.
Episode Three: Aftermath Kentuckians fought on both sides of the Civil War but came together at war’s end to oppose a common foe—newly emancipated African Americans yearning for education, dignity, and a decent living. In the years that followed, Kentucky pioneered restrictive racial laws that became models for the rest of the South, and thwarted many efforts by Black Kentuckians to prosper—using violence and terror to accomplish whatever the law could not.
AFTER THE ELECTION
Episode Four: Facing the Past There are clear lines that connect the legacy of slavery to many of our present day issues, including the racial inequities of COVID-19 infection and deaths, wealth inequality, and ongoing police brutality. A true and deep understanding of our history allows us to navigate the present moment and stop running away from the past.
Production Staff Bios
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 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 ISeeChange.org, 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.
Includes The Reckoning logo and featured images, photo captioning info, and production staff bios, for September 2020.