Episode 4, Season 3 / May 10, 2023

Beyond the Canon: Lillian Smith

Investigating the life and legacy of radically subversive writer Lillian Smith

The Prologue

The Prologue

In this episode, Oxford American contributing editor Diane Roberts travels to Rabun County, Georgia, to visit the campgrounds owned by Lillian Smith, the author of Strange Fruit and Killers of the Dream. Roberts investigates how the environment of the campgrounds shaped Smith, a white activist and writer who worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and others to disrupt white supremacy. This episode includes newly discovered audio of the voice of Lillian Smith, calling out to us in the present through her enduring legacy.

Beyond The Prologue

Stay and Resist

Diane Roberts's 2016 essay on the life and legacy of Lillian Smith appeared in the pages of Oxford American's 94th issue. Read the full story now.