Created by: Taylor Hom & Neil Shea
Executive Producer: Lynn Nottage
DEEP SOUTH is a 10-part podcast that investigates the lynching of a wealthy black farmer in Arkansas at the dawn of the Civil Rights movement. In June 1954, three weeks after the momentous Supreme Court decision that overturned segregation, Isadore Banks was kidnapped, tortured, chained to a tree and set on fire. Banks’ murder terrorized the black community on the Arkansas Delta, foreshadowing a wave of white violence that would soon sweep the broader South. In his hometown of Marion, Banks’ killers worked quickly to steal his land and erase his name, while intimidating those who had begun standing against oppression.
Sixty-five years later, we investigate Banks’ murder, joining his family in their attempt to restore his legacy and solve the crime before the story goes cold forever. Combining the stylistic turns and documentary scope of S-Town and West Cork with the deep reporting of In the Dark, this podcast illuminates one man’s life and explores the system of white supremacy that surrounded him. What we find—in forgotten court records, fading FBI files, and testimony of elderly witnesses—will shake a small town from its half-century silence and reveal the divisions that lie at the heart of America’s unfinished business.
DEEP SOUTH will be distributed by Stitcher/Midroll in 2020.