Re:sound #128: The Willie McGee Show

This hour: the story (and the story behind the story) of Willie McGee.

2010 / TCF / WBEZ 91.5, USA


This hour: the story (and the story behind the story) of Willie McGee.

A conversation between Joe Richman and Bridgette McGee-Robinson
from the 2010 Third Coast Filmless Festival
Joe Richman (of Radio Diaries) and Bridgette McGee-Robinson joined us at the Third Coast Filmless Festival in March 2010 to discuss Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair, a documentary-in-progress. They gave listener's a rare glimpse behind the scenes, sharing their thoughts and experiences in the researching, planning, and production of their story.

The two teamed up to tell the story of Bridgette's grandfather, Willie McGee, a black man who was accused of raping a white woman in Mississippi in 1945. Despite appeals from Albert Einstein, Paul Robeson, and William Faulkner, McGee was executed in Mississippi's traveling electric chair (the only one of its kind) six years later.

Bridgette grew up knowing almost nothing about her grandfather, but now she's on a quest to unearth everything she can about his life -- and his death.

Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair (excerpt)
by Joe Richman and Samara Freemark (Radio Diaries, 2010)
with Anayansi Diaz-Cortez, Deborah George, and Ben Shapiro
narrated by Bridgette McGee-Robinson

The Mssrs. Craft
by Nate Dimeo (The Memory Palace, 2009)
In which we hear the incredible tale of Ellen and William Craft's escape from slavery in 1848. This one's got it all: cross-dressing, high-drama, guns, romance, a remarkable ending. Certainly one of the most stunning slave narratives on record.

This episode of Re:sound was produced by Delaney Hall.

produced by

Joe Richman

Joe Richman (@RadioDiaries) is a Peabody Award-winning producer and reporter and the founder of Radio Diaries, a non-profit organization.

Samara Freemark

Samara Freemark (@sfreemark) is the Senior Producer of In the Dark , an investigative podcast from APM Reports, and a reporter with its documentary unit.

Nate DiMeo

Nate DiMeo is the creator of The Memory Palace, a 2016 Peabody Award finalist. The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Nate is the Artist in Residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for 2016/2017. He lives in Los Angeles.


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