Episode 35: The Cause Célèbre: Joan Little
When a young black woman named Joan Little ran from her jail cell, leaving her white male guard dead on the floor—without his pants—the country couldn’t decide who, exactly, Joan Little was. The prosecution said she was a vicious seductress who’d lured the guard in specifically to kill him. The defense said she was an innocent angel who hadn’t even known he was dead. Who in the world was Joan Little, really?
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New York Times coverage of the Joan Little case, 1975-1989
The Innocent of Joan Little: A Southern Mystery, by James Reston
Joan Little ephemera (including her poem, “I Am Somebody”), from usprisonculture.com
“Free Joan Little: Anti-Rape Activism, Black Power, and the Black Freedom Movement,” by Ashley Farmer, from Black Perspectives by AAIHS
Concluding poem read by Alex Taylor.
“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer
“Shake It and Break It” by Lanin's Southern Serenaders, licensed under a Public Domain / Sound Recording Common Law Protection License