The Tawana Brawley Story
In the late 1980s, Tawana Brawley became a household name as her horrifying story spread across the country, igniting outrage and setting off a fierce debate about race in America.
Brawley, after all, was a 15-year old African American teenager, who had been allegedly assaulted by six white men – including a police officer – from her upstate New York community.
But as her tale played out on the nightly news, another story unfolded, one that raised serious questions about Brawley’s claims and her advisers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton. In the end, the Brawley case ensnared the innocent, damaged reputations and ruined lives. And as Retro Report found, through interviews with state investigator John Ryan, journalist Wayne Barrett and Rev. Sharpton, the Tawana Brawley story has come to define a particular moment in New York history ripe for just such a deception and, twenty-five years later, continues to leave its stamp on how we think about race in America.
More Like This
Combating the Myth of the Superpredator
In the 1990s, a handful of researchers inspired panic with a dire but flawed prediction: the imminent arrival of a new breed of “superpredators.”
The Modern Bystander Effect
Why don’t people intervene when they encounter violence streaming live online?
DNA Clues Solve Crimes . . . With a Privacy Cost
DNA information that is available on genealogy websites is doing more than satisfying curiosity -- it's solving crimes.
Columbine at 20: Media Attention and Copycat Killers
Twenty years after Columbine, we examine the impact the attack has had on today's youths -- and how the media has more recently shifted its coverage of school shootings.