‘Race beat’ Pulitzer winner to speak at Troy

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 5, 2016

Journalist Hank Klibanoff, a Florence native who co-wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about press coverage of the civil rights movement, will speak Feb. 11 at Troy University during the annual M. Stanton Evans Symposium on Money, Politics and the Media.

Journalists and the public are invited to the event at 10 a.m. in the ballroom of the Trojan Center on the Troy Campus. Admission is free.

Klibanoff and Gene Roberts wrote “The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation,” which won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in history.

Klibanoff’s topic for the symposium will be “The Race Beat: Then and Now.” He is a professor of journalism and director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory University (coldcases.emory.edu), for which undergraduates are examining unsolved or unpunished racially motivated murders.

“The Race Beat,” published in 2006 by Knopf, describes the roles of the black press, the Northern press, the Southern liberal and segregationist press, television and photojournalism in awakening the American conscience through coverage of the civil rights struggle in the South from the 1930s through the late 1960s.

“The book is rich with stories of reporters overcoming obstacles to obtain and report the news,” said Steve Stewart, a TROY assistant professor of journalism. “It describes the influence of emerging technology, especially TV news. And it shows the cruelty that segregation imposed on black Southerners as well as black reporters. It shows us how good journalists do their work and what a difference they can make.”

Klibanoff worked 36 years in newspapers in Mississippi, Boston, Philadelphia and Atlanta, where he was managing editor for news of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He lives in Atlanta.

Troy University’s M. Stanton Evans Symposium on Money, Politics and the Media is named for a TROY faculty member who was a national columnist, commentator, book author and editor of the Indianapolis News. Stan Evans held the university’s Buchanan Chair of Journalism from 1980 until his death in 2015.

More information is available from Stewart at sstewart71298@troy.edu or 334-672-3192