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Confronting America's History Of Lynching

Evan Lewis in Colbert Georgia
(Photo by Shondiin Silversmith - Arizona Republic)
Evan Lewis standing close to where his great-grandfather was lynched in Colbert, Georgia.

Lynching of African-Americans is one of the more tragic and embarrassing parts of U.S. history, a practice that was still occurring nearly a century after the end of the Civil War.

One such lynching happened in 1936 in Colbert, Georgia, when Lent Shaw was murdered. The photo of Shaw’s body and a group of white men standing around him has become one of the most famous examples of American racism.

Shaw’s family left Georgia after the incident and his descendants never returned to the state — until recently. Lent Shaw's great-grandson Evan Lewis, accompanied by Arizona Republic journalist Shondiin Silversmith, went to find out more about what happened.

Silversmith wrote about Lewis and his family in her azcentral story " Confronting the Past: A Young Man Tries to Understand the Lynching of His Great-Grandfather."

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Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.