Elliot Jaspin: History and The Press

Historians in the News

... Last July, Cox News journalist Elliott Jaspin published a four-part series of articles about communities in the United States that drove out their African American residents between 1864 and 1924. The syndicate had allowed Jaspin to devote five years of his time on its payroll exclusively to the series. His story covered 16 pages in Cox's Austin American-Statesman and versions of it appeared in five other Cox newspapers. The American-Statesman even created an interactive website devoted to the subject.

But Cox's flagship newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, published none of Jaspin's reportage. In the runup to Monday's publication date for Jaspin's book, Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America, charges flew thick and fast. See: Richard Prince,"Atlanta Paper Accused," Journal-isms, 21 February;"‘AJC' Whitewashed My Series on Racial Expulsions," Editor & Publisher, 23 February; Doug Monroe,"The AJC's Racial Cleansing Firestorm," Atlanta Magazine Online, 27 February; and John F. Sugg,"White Washed! Elliot Jaspin's book is the last thing the AJC's editors want you to read," Creative Loafing, 7 March.

The controversy is undoubtedly good for Jaspin's book sales and there's more to come. In January, the Sundance Film Festival showcased"Banished," a documentary featuring the return of descendants of African Americans driven out of three counties Jaspin identified to those counties. The film has its own website and its producers are planning"a major public education campaign to maximize the impact of ‘Banished'."

Related Links

  • Elliot Jaspin: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America
  • Read entire article at Ralph Luker at Cliopatria (HNN Blog)

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