‘White Lies’ retells the story of the murder of a white Unitarian Universalist minister and civil rights activist, which galvanized support for the Voting Rights Act but which the white residents of Selma, Alabama, refused to help solve.
The Rev. James Reeb, the Rev. Clark Olsen, and the Rev. Orloff Miller ate at Walker’s Cafe (above, as seen in 2015), an integrated restaurant in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965. While walking back toward Brown Chapel AME for a civil rights meeting, they were attacked by white men and Reeb was mortally injured. (© 2015 Christopher L. Walton/UUA)
NPR released the first episode today of a weekly podcast series that investigates the unsolved murder of the Rev. James Reeb, the Unitarian Universalist minister who was killed in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965. “White Lies” combines new and archival interviews to revisit the crime that provoked Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act, and it explores the communal refusal by white residents of Selma to solve the crime. Listen to the first episode, “The Murder of the Rev. James Reeb,” subscribe to the podcast, and visit the multimedia page where you can see photos and hear audio recordings related to the podcast.
Learn more from our archives about the Unitarian Universalist involvement in the 1965 voting rights campaign in Selma:
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Christopher L. Walton was the editor of UU World and director of the UUA’s Periodicals staff group until June 2021. He holds degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the University of Utah.
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