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When the Salem Witch Trials Memorial was erected in the center of downtown Salem 30 years ago, an annual award was also established, the original stated purpose of which was to “encourage understanding of the lessons of the Salem witch trials in the context of contemporary life.” Since 1992, a courageous individual whose work has advanced the cause of justice has been selected for the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice each year.
In 2022, investigative civil rights journalist Jerry Mitchell was the award recipient. Through tireless efforts over almost two decades, Mitchell “doggedly pursued the Klansmen responsible for some of the most notorious murders of the civil rights movement.” (John Grisham) In November, we were honored to host both Mr. Mitchell and Reena Evers-Everette, daughter of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, for a special tour of the Salem Witch Museum, and were able to attend their lecture at Salem State University.
Race Against Time is Jerry Mitchell’s story, a gripping account of his relentless search for truth and a must-read. (2020, paperback)
“[A] valuable memoir . . . no other journalist has made a greater contribution to cold-case investigations.” –Washington Post
“[The book] warrants praise, gratitude, and a wide audience.” –The New York Times Book Review
“ . . . this is both an important Civil Rights document and a timely read in the wake of the recent rise of hate crimes.” –Booklist, starred review
“Mitchell’s work deserves applause for his tenacity in bringing justice where the system failed miserably. His work also highlights the value of high-ideals journalism in a democracy.” –Associated Press
“[Jerry Mitchell] is living proof of the central role investigative journalism plays in preserving our democracy. This book should be read and studied for many years to come.” -U.S. Senator Doug Jones
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