New Article in ‘The Atlantic’

(Esiri Essi / Nino Mier Gallery for The Atlantic. Photograph by Gert Jan van Rooij)

In my latest article, featured in The Atlantic, I explore the themes of race, violence, and memory through the life of Joetha Collier, a Black teenager from Drew, Mississippi who was tragically killed by a white man on her graduation night in 1971. The article draws upon my research on the case, including oral interviews I conducted with Joetha’s family and friends over the past few months. Please click here to read more.

The case has largely been forgotten, in part because the investigation netted a conviction but never offered a clear motive—unlike the open white supremacy that motivated Till’s murder, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. But perhaps Joetha’s story has also been forgotten because it troubles our collective historical memory. The case challenges the triumphant narratives we often tell about the civil-rights movement: how activists across the nation worked together with public officials to topple Jim Crow and bring an end to an era of racial injustice.”
“They Called Her ‘Black Jet;” The Atlantic, April 28, 2022.