A small town. A brutal murder.
A journey into the heart of America's unfinished business.
UNFINISHED: 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. What we find will shake a small Southern town from its silence, reveal the story of African American prosperity on the Delta, and trace the roots of racial terror from Isadore’s day up through our own.