During the heart of the Civil Rights Movement hundreds, if not thousands, of mostly black men were murdered. Most of these cases remain unsolved, miscarriages of justice denied by local authorities and courts despite FBI investigation at the time. Forty years later, in 2007, Congressman John Lewis led the passage of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007, authorizing the FBI to reopen 126 so called Civil Rights era “cold cases.” To date only one case has gone to trial, one to a grand jury and nearly all of the others have been closed despite new evidence. Time is running out. American Reckoning investigates the FBI's failures under the Emmett Till Act, and tells the story of one surviving family — Wharlest Jackson Sr., a Natchez, Mississippi NAACP treasurer whose murder by the klan in 1967 left behind three children who want answers in their lifetimes.
Brad Lichtenstein is president of Milwaukee-based 371 Productions, a media company creating projects for the common good. His recent film, A…