Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot "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 Chinese-American owned businesses. Some 1,500 members of the National Guard were called in to ease the unrest. Despite all the chaos, the riot has largely been forgotten, even in Georgia.
Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot

Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot

From Georgia Public Broadcasting

"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 Chinese-American owned businesses. Some 1,500 members of the National Guard were called in to ease the unrest. Despite all the chaos, the riot has largely been forgotten, even in Georgia.

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Bonus: Could Charles Oatman's Death Happen Today?

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.

Episode 1: The Forgotten Riot

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.

Trailer

"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.

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