Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot-logo

Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot

History Podcasts

"Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot" tells the story of one of the first major Civil Rights Era riots in the South. The immediate cause of the riot in Augusta, Ga. was the brutal murder of Charles Oatman, an African American teenager held by police in the county jail. During the riot, six Black men were killed by white police officers, all of them shot in the back. In a collaboration, students at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts join GPB in telling this story.

"Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot" tells the story of one of the first major Civil Rights Era riots in the South. The immediate cause of the riot in Augusta, Ga. was the brutal murder of Charles Oatman, an African American teenager held by police in the county jail. During the riot, six Black men were killed by white police officers, all of them shot in the back. In a collaboration, students at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts join GPB in telling this story.

Location:

United States

Description:

"Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot" tells the story of one of the first major Civil Rights Era riots in the South. The immediate cause of the riot in Augusta, Ga. was the brutal murder of Charles Oatman, an African American teenager held by police in the county jail. During the riot, six Black men were killed by white police officers, all of them shot in the back. In a collaboration, students at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts join GPB in telling this story.

Language:

English


Episodes

Bonus: Telling The Story

10/19/2020
Host Sea Stachura and editor Keocia Howard look back on the making of "Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot."

Duration:00:30:25

Episode 6: Was The Augusta Riot Worth It?

9/14/2020
Was the Augusta riot worth it? Fifty years after the uprising, we look at the societal changes that it sparked, and what the Civil Rights Movement looks like today.

Duration:00:47:37

Bonus: No Peace, No Justice, 1970

9/7/2020
In 1970, what happened in Augusta was actually part of a larger national story as campuses across the country were shut down due to protests.

Duration:00:07:44

Episode 5: The Smoke Clears

9/4/2020
In the months following Augusta's riot, activism was at an all-time high. As white Augustans braced themselves for the possibility of more violence, Black activists worked for more immediate change. Meanwhile, the police department rewarded the officers involved in the riot, and the friends and families of "The Augusta Six" demanded justice.

Duration:00:46:43

Episode 5: The Smoke Clears

8/30/2020
In the months following Augusta's riot, activism was at an all-time high. As white Augustans braced themselves for the possibility of more violence, Black activists worked for more immediate change. Meanwhile, the police department rewarded the officers involved in the riot, and the friends and families of "The Augusta Six" demanded justice.

Duration:00:47:00

Bonus: All Cakes Should Be Equal

8/24/2020
Students from the Jessye Norman School of the Arts have been working hard to tell the story of the 1970 Augusta riot in the podcast, Shots in the Back. Half of these students are white, while the rest are Black. That dynamic has made it intimidating to talk about racism in the classroom. In this bonus episode, several of them share their fears about racism.

Duration:00:15:33

Episode 4: Shoot To Kill

8/10/2020
Inside the chaos of the uprising, Black and white leaders were trying to quell the violence. As rioters set fire to white-owned businesses, police officers were told to shoot to kill. In this episode, we tell the stories of the six Black men killed by white police officers. The victims, who were all shot in the back, would be remembered as The Augusta Six.

Duration:00:41:13

Episode 3: The Days Of The Riot

7/27/2020
In this timeline of the 48-hour uprising in Augusta, we chart its chronological and geographic path. We hear about rioters who targeted Chinese-owned businesses, while police in armored personnel carriers patrolled the streets. The National Guard also surrounded Paine College, a historically black college.

Duration:00:48:16

Bonus: People Called Him Charlie

7/21/2020
A listener reaches out to share his memories of Charlie Oatman. Fred McBrayer was a vocational rehabilitation counselor in Augusta, who worked with Oatman at his high school.

Duration:00:09:25

Episode 2: A Lay Of The Land In 1970 Augusta

7/13/2020
Why were Black Augustans so angry about Charles Oatman's death? Because it was a symbol for the myriad of other injustices and oppressions that they have dealt with everyday. This episode weaves together seemingly isolated issues that together stymied the progress and equality of Augusta's Black citizens.

Duration:00:47:28

Bonus: Could Charles Oatman’s Death Happen Today?

7/7/2020
Students from the Jessye Norman School of the Arts reflect on what they learned in the first episode of the podcast about Charles Oatman’s 1970 death in a Richmond County jail. They also draw on comparisons to Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas jail cell in 2015.

Duration:00:12:22

Episode 1: The Forgotten Riot

6/29/2020
In this episode, we share the outlines of the riot, and one of its immediate causes, which was the death of Charles Oatman. He was a black, intellectually disabled teenager who was beaten to death in the Richmond, Co. jail.

Duration:00:31:38

Trailer

6/10/2020
"Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot" tells the story of one of the first major Civil Rights era riots in the South. The immediate cause of the August riot was the murder of Charles Oatman, an African American teenager held by police in the county jail. During the riot, six Black men were killed by white police officers, all of them shot in the back.

Duration:00:03:10

Trailer

3/30/2020
"Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot" tells the story of one of the first major Civil Rights era riots in the South. The riot happened in Augusta, Georgia from May 11-13, 1970,. The immediate cause was the suspicious death of Charles Oatman, an African American teenager held in the county jail. During the riot, six black men were killed by white police officers, all of them shot in the back. Much of Augusta’s black business district was also set ablaze, including many white and...

Duration:00:02:53