Debbie Elliott

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

John Perry joins us next. He's a senior pastor of Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Brunswick, Ga. And he joined the Arbery family during the trial. Welcome to the program, sir.

JOHN PERRY: Thank you.

INSKEEP: And...

PERRY: Good morning to you, and happy Thanksgiving.

INSKEEP: Happy Thanksgiving to you, sir. Debbie Elliott's report included a description there of a T-shirt that said justice served. Was it?

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Opening statements will come this week in the murder trial of three white men accused in the killing Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man shot to death last year while jogging down a residential street.

It has taken more than two weeks to seat a jury for the racially-charged case, in part because so many prospective jurors say they have a firm opinion about what happened on February 23, 2020 in the Satilla Shores subdivision just outside Brunswick.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The trial of three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery has put Brunswick back in the national spotlight. Arbery was the 25-year old Black man shot to death last year while jogging through a neighborhood.

Artist Marvin Weeks memorialized Arbery in a mural that has become a focal point for racial justice advocates in this town on the Georgia coast.

One of the killings that sparked racial justice protests last year is back in the national spotlight with a trial set to begin Monday in Brunswick, Ga. Three white men are accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year old Black man who was shot and killed as he was jogging down a residential street on Feb. 23, 2020, after being chased by pickup trucks.

"It was right here," says Theawanza Brooks, Arbery's aunt. "This is where he last laid to rest."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

As some states pass laws to restrict voting, Black voting rights activists are fighting back with tactics reminiscent of the civil rights movement. Here's NPR's Debbie Elliott.

It's been 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre — one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. An armed white mob attacked Greenwood, a prosperous Black community in Tulsa, Okla., killing as many as 300 people. What was known as Black Wall Street was burned to the ground.

"Mother, I see men with guns," said Florence Mary Parrish, a small child looking out the window on the evening of May 31, 1921, when the siege began.

Toforest Johnson was 25 years old when he was sentenced to death in 1998 for the killing of a sheriff's deputy outside Birmingham, Ala. His oldest daughter, Shanaye Poole, now 29, remembers being in the courtroom.

"I just wanted to talk to him. He looked so handsome. He had a suit on. And of course, I didn't really know what was going on. I may have been 4 or 5 years old at the time," she says. "I saw him walk away, and that was the last day of his freedom."

Entrepreneur Keitra Bates stands in a gleaming glass-front retail shop in a new development on the south side of Atlanta.

"We're looking at almost 2,000-sq-ft. of raw space," she says, pointing out the floor-to-ceiling windows that face onto Atlanta's popular Beltline, railways converted to trails and parks encircling the city.

This will soon be the second location for a business she started called Marddy's — short for Market Buddies, a shared kitchen where home cooks can prepare their goods, and collectively market them.

A lingering mistrust of the medical system makes some Black Americans more hesitant to sign up for COVID-19 vaccines. It has played out in early data that show a stark disparity in whom is getting shots in this country — more than 60% going to white people, and less than 6% to African Americans. The mistrust is rooted in history, including the infamous U.S. study of syphilis that left Black men in Tuskegee, Ala., to suffer from the disease.

Alabama corrections officials say they were caught off-guard by a lawsuit this week from the Justice Department alleging dangerous and unconstitutional conditions in the state's prisons.

It's the latest in a long list of legal challenges over a system plagued by deadly violence and neglect.

On a bright November morning, the writer and photographer Ben Raines launches his fishing boat into Mobile Bay, the city's skyline visible in the distance.

"Right on the doorstep of this big American city, we have one of the largest intact wilderness areas in the country, certainly one of the largest wetland wilderness areas," he says, pulling away from the dock.

His boat is at the top of Mobile Bay, where a confluence of freshwater rivers flow into the salt marsh and eventually drain into the Gulf of Mexico. It's known as the Mobile-Tensaw Delta.

In the best of times, service industry workers are typically paid below the minimum wage and rely on tips to make up the difference. Now, those still working in an industry battered by the coronavirus pandemic are on the front lines, enforcing COVID-19 safety measures at the expense of both tip earnings and avoiding harassment.

Georgia voters are being bombarded, whether it's Twitter messages, robocalls or the more than $100 million-worth of television commercials they'll see between now and Jan. 5. That's when Georgia's two Republican senators will face Democratic challengers in twin runoffs that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.

Money and operatives are flooding the state to get out the vote.

How conservative do you have to be to keep a Georgia Senate seat?

"More conservative than Attila the Hun," is what incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler advertises.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to replace Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson who resigned at the end of last year, citing health reasons. Now she's running in a crowded special election to serve out the remaining two years of Isakson's term.

President Trump is holding two rallies this week in Florida, a play to energize the voters he needs to deliver the must-win state.

Early voting and vote by mail numbers indicate Floridians are already engaged, as more than 4 million have cast a ballot already.

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