PBS’ FRONTLINE is known for telling expansive, hard-hitting stories. One of its most important projects is Un(re)solved, which looks to find justice in the unresolved murders of Black people dating back to the civil rights era.
Beginning in June 2021, Un(re)solved published in phases and focuses on “stories of those on the Till Act list.”
Per a PBS press release: “Drawing on more than two years of reporting, thousands of documents, and dozens of first-hand interviews with family members, current and former FBI agents and Justice Department officials, and journalists, the multi-platform Un(re)solved project investigates the federal government’s effort to grapple with America’s legacy of racist killings, mainly against African Americans, through the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act — and will make available for the first time a comprehensive interactive database of information about all 151 people on the Till list.”
Though it’s been 10 years since the Till Act was passed, there have been no arrests or new federal prosecutions by the FBI or Justice Department.
“There was definitely a lot of hope. You know, we’re thinking the feds get involved, Department of Justice involved. They have the resources to make something happen,” says Deborah Watts, a cousin of Emmett Till,
While the idea that these murders were never resolved is not surprising to Black people, their names and stories will be new.
“Civil rights continues to be the unfinished business of America,” Tom Perez, former assistant attorney general for civil rights, told FRONTLINE. “And that’s why I think these efforts, while they don’t yield the tangible results that we all would love to see, I think the journey is indispensably important.”
Un(re)solved is executive produced by Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Good Trouble) and Raney Aronson-Rath (Executive Producer, FRONTLINE).
Un(re)solved is a multi-platform project including web interactive experience, podcast mini-series, augmented-reality installation that can tour schools, libraries and museums, broadcast documentary, companion educational curriculum and events.
The Un(re)solved podcast is now streaming on the FRONTLINE PBS YouTube channel and wherever podcasts are available.