ROCK SPRINGS — Western Wyoming Community College invites the community to listen to the “White Lies” podcast, and join hosts Andrew Beck Grace and Chip Brantley for a presentation and Q&A on April 21, 2021, at 6:30 pm in room 1302 or via Zoom.
In 2019, National Public Radio (NPR) published “White Lies”, a podcast that delves into a murder that was so significant, that President Lyndon B. Johnson became involved, and mentioned the murder as he introduced Civil Rights Legislation. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a eulogy at the funeral of the murdered man.
In the podcast, journalists Andrew Beck Grace and Chip Brantley explore the 1965 murder of Reverend James Reeb, a Unitarian Minister who had traveled to Selma, Alabama after witnessing the violence that had previously occurred there. He felt a need to lend his voice and support to the Civil Rights Movement occurring in Selma. Shortly after arriving in Selma, he was murdered, and no one was ever held accountable.
“The Rev. James Reeb, unbeknownst to me, was from Wyoming. He is a character in the film Selma, and his murder is the subject of ‘White Lies’. When I listened to the podcast, I was shocked, shocked that I had never known this,” states Amy Galley, Director of Wellbeing & Accessibility and Social Work Instructor at Western Wyoming Community College. “When I heard this story, I felt that it was an interesting story to tell and something that connects Wyoming to something that feels so far removed from our communities.”
“Marie, Jim’s wife, immediately took the children back to Wyoming where both her parents were and Jim’s parents were,” Andrew Beck Grace said, “I know how Wyoming natives are about who can claim Wyoming, but I think the Reebs’ can claim it pretty well.”
Grace and Brantley once came to Casper, where there was an unveiling of a memorial wall, and participated in a panel discussion. “We always thought that doing events in Wyoming about the show made a lot of sense because it’s interesting that this man who wasn’t living in Wyoming when he was killed and has these deep ties to Wyoming,” Grace said.
This story relates so well to the current movements going on in our country today. Grace said, “feeling those connections between the injustice of the past and contemporary life was important for our show.”
“Andrew and Chip have been amazingly open and excited to come to Wyoming. We were originally working towards having the event last spring. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to cancel, but we are committed to bringing this important story to Western.”
This event is made possible by NPR, Andrew Beck Grace and Chip Brantley, the Wesswick Foundation, Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Western Performing Arts, and our Student Government Association.
To register to attend the event via Zoom, or for more information, contact Amy Galley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-382-1645.