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Uncovering the hidden history of a Salisbury lynching

MH Chavis cover
"The Silent Shore: The Lynching of Matthew Williams and the Politics of Racism in the Free State," by Charles L. Chavis Jr. Credit: JHU Press

Professor Charles Chavis Jr. has invested five years probing the lynching of a young Black man in Salisbury on the Eastern Shore 90 years ago--what 23-year-old Matthew Williams meant to his family and community, the leaders of the supposedly spontaneous mob, how the white power structure covered up the crime -- and what it all means today.

Chavis’s book, The Silent Shore: The Lynching of Matthew Williams and the Politics of Racism in the Free State, will be out next week. And with Samson and Katrina Binutu, he’s producing a film about the crime, Hidden in Full View.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.