It's been a while since I've posted here, so I thought a little roundup might be in order.
The big news, if you've followed my posts over the years about the 1964 Clifton Walker murder case, is that the DOJ has thrown in the towel and closed the case, which was re-opened in 2009. An FBI agent hand-delivered a letter from the DOJ to Clifton Walker's daughter Catherine on November 21, to break the news. More coming soon on this, but in the meantime, check out this excellent report broadcast on Al Jazeera English this past week.
In one of the first posts I wrote over on my new spot, benlog.net, I reflected a bit on how the project I started here on the life and times of my father has so thoroughly morphed into this other work on civil rights cold cases.
By my fourth or fifth time back in Mississippi, it became clear that I was making a choice between the work I’d found there on civil rights cold cases and that unintentional book about my father.
I’m not giving up on the book about Dad, but time and resources for the work are limited—and both projects involve a shrinking window of opportunity to pursue living people with answers that will be lost to history once they die.
So for now, I focus on the project that I do because of him rather than the project that is about him.
Turns out I've had some great, untapped source material for the original project sitting on a shelf in my home office for the last three years—a trove of letters between my parents in the early 50s, while my father was serving in the Army in the Korean War. It's going to take considerable time to scan and transcribe the letters, but I will be carting out stories from that material now and then, as time allows.
One thing I've learned is that my father's friendship with Pete Seeger goes further back than what I knew about from the early 60s. You can read about it in A Fast One for Pete Seeger, over on Medium.
I moved my main blogging activity over to benlog.net in an effort to simplify the process. Like a lot of folks who've been blogging since early on, I've started to find that the web-based blogging tools, which so radically transformed the nature of media and how we are able to connect with others online, have come to feel cumbersome. The change of venue seems to have worked—in so far as I've been writing a bit more over there. Even so, I was getting a bit frustrated with my new setup and I decided to change things up again. The blog is still benlog.net, but I've made some changes under the hood.
I guess I should also mention that today, December 22, is my father's birthday. He'd be 86 if he were still around. I posted this video over on the new blog in June when I was feeling melancholy about the Supreme Court ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act. Tonight it's just a song for you, Dad.