To date, every civil rights murder case that has been reopened and successfully prosecuted was the direct result of an investigation initiated by a journalist. Klibanoff is involved in two civil rights cold cases projects – one with professional journalists, the other with college students – that bring together investigative reporting, historical analysis and narrative writing to reveal the long-neglected truth behind unresolved, racially-motivated murders in the modern civil rights era in the South. The goals are to close gaps in history by telling untold stories, expose the cruel and the criminal, and to facilitate racial understanding and healing.
Born in Alabama, Hank Klibanoff grew up witnessing the civil rights movement, massive resistance, and the revolution of race relations in the South. Those experiences, along with his 35 years as a newspaper reporter and editor in Mississippi and at The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution were key influences as he co-wrote The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation. The book won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for history.