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Reelfoot Forward

Author: Reelfoot Forward

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Podcast by Reelfoot Forward
80 Episodes
In this episode, retired West Tennessee lawyer Jim Emison discusses his quest for justice for the brutal murder of Elbert Williams, a founding member of the NAACP in Haywood County. In June 1940, two officers from the Brownsville, Tennessee Police Department took Elbert Williams to jail for questioning. His body was later found floating in the Hatchie River making him one of the earliest members of the NAACP murdered for his civil rights work. While his death was ruled a homicide, no one was ever prosecuted. After learning about the case, Jim Emison began what has become an all-encompassing crusade to ensure Williams' sacrifice is remembered and any responsible parties still living are brought to justice.
As an Emmy award-winning writer and producer, Henri Giles has many fascinating stories she now shares with her students at the University of Tennessee at Martin. After earning her bachelor’s degree in communications, she worked in a variety of positions in broadcast and cable television. In this episode, she shares details about her unique life experiences that include working as a field producer for the Oprah Winfrey Network and producing an Emmy Award-winning documentary narrated by Alfre Woodard.
April Lieberman, West and Middle Tennessee Rotary district governor, returned home to Gleason, Tennessee after successful careers that included time as a model, federal judicial law clerk and appellate attorney. A graduate of Yale Law School and Vanderbilt University, she now dedicates herself to serving throughout West Tennessee and encouraging those she encounters to “be the change they want to see in the world.” After joining Rotary several years ago, she remarked to friends, “I’ve found my people.” In this episode, April shares how she discovered her passion for service to others and the role community service organizations, like Rotary, play in both urban and rural communities.
As a doctor of audiology with a passion for hunting, Dr. Bill Dickinson is an entrepreneur who merged his professional calling with one of his hobbies. He co-founded TETRA Hearing to provide perfected hearing protection and targeted enhancement that was awarded the 2020 Guns and Ammo Best New Technology of the Year. In this episode, listeners go behind the scenes and learn how he took this new product from idea to manufacturing to hunters around the nation. Others with a similar passion for hunting will appreciate hearing more about what his company is doing in the industry including his work with Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson and Uncle Si. Non-hunters will love hearing Dr. Dickinson’s excitement for life and will be inspired to find their own passions.
Charles Brubaker’s path has taken him from a childhood on the busy streets of Isahaya, Nagasaki in Japan to life with his six cats and two dogs living in the rural community of Martin in Northwest Tennessee. In this episode, he shares how he turned his early passion for art and illustration into a successful career as a storyboard artist, cartoonist and animator. After graduating from the University of Tennessee at Martin, he worked with animation historian Jerry Beck as a researcher on Pink Panther: The Ultimate Guide and has had his work in the popular SpongeBob SquarePants comic books and Mad Magazine.  Today, his popular Ask a Cat and The Fuzzy Princess strips are popular among comic fans of all ages.
From the hustle of New York Fashion Week to overseeing the visionary process of music videos, editorials and merchandise design, Nashville stylist Krista Roser has an exciting career in the fashion industry. Originally, from Dyersburg, Tenn., Krista’s passion for design was sparked by a college trip with University of Tennessee at Martin to New Orleans where she visited Saks Fifth Avenue for the first time. In this episode, she talks about styling runways, red carpets and helping establish the brands of new artists in country music.
Through his nonprofit, Special Ops Xcursions, founder Scott Graves is devoted to providing unique adventures to Special Operations Forces service members and their families at no cost. The list of adventures includes hunting, fishing, skeet shooting, archery range days, family retreats, safaris and even music-writing getaways with Nashville recording artists. In this episode, Scott shares the story of how he and a small group of friends came up with this idea in 2012 at their West Tennessee hunting club. After the first group of soldiers arrived in September 2013 for a dove hunt, the overwhelming success of that excursion quickly rippled into numerous events providing all types of outdoor activities.
In this episode, host Scott Williams talks with Caroline Meinert, artistic director for Ballet Arts in Jackson, Tenn. She shares her story of auditioning for the Radio City Rockettes in New York City, her decision to become a dance instructor and why she decided to come back and run the studio that sparked her passion for dance. Caroline also discusses the importance of having a strong arts program in rural communities.
As a fourth generation hunter from Samburg, Tennessee, Ben Parker created Parker's Outfitting to provide hunting and fishing adventures in the region. Recording from his lodge at Reelfoot Lake, Ben talks about his time on the professional fishing circuit and how he developed the idea to provide outdoor excursions in his hometown.
It's not every day you get to hear firsthand what it's like to ride into a rodeo arena. In this episode, Casey Allen, a graduate student and member of the rodeo team at the University of Tennessee at Martin, shares about the thrill of barrel racing and break-away roping. When she is not in class, she is practicing and competing in rodeos across the country. Raised just outside of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Casey began competing against professional barrel racers at the age of 14. Listeners will enjoy hearing about the day-to-day activities of a rodeo star in this episode of "Reelfoot Forward."
Charles Choate, the host of “30 Minutes,” a community affairs program from the Thunderbolt Broadcasting Company, turns the tables on “Reelfoot Forward” host, Scott Williams, to find out more about Discovery Park of America’s new exhibit on innovation in agriculture. By 2050, agricultural production must increase dramatically to support an estimated global population of 10 billion. In this episode, you’ll hear more about how “Agriculture: Innovating for Our Survival” explores how food, fuel and fiber is being grown for an increasing population while using less of our shared natural resources. Opening Dec. 5, 2020, the exhibit tells the story of farming innovation in the past, present—and especially—future in a fun and interactive way. Williams shares behind-the-scenes details on the development of the exhibit along with a look at some of the farmers and others working in agriculture that visitors will get to know.
Jake Bynum describes his job as Weakly County mayor as being a salesman for the county. In this episode, you’ll hear how he transitioned from serving on the city board to running and winning the position of county mayor.  Whether he’s looking for ways to increase economic development or make high-speed internet access available in rural communities, Jake uses his leadership role to help improve the lives of those living in Northwest Tennessee.
By the end of this episode, you will want to hop in your car and head to Martin for some of the tastiest BBQ in Northwest Tennessee. Blake Stoker, the young, enthusiastic owner of Blake’s BBQ, shares how he discovered his love for grilling and how he is turning his food trailer business into a brick and mortar restaurant. For those listeners who enjoy grilling, Blake also shares some insider tips on smoking the perfect chicken or brisket.
As the director of the University of Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at Milan, Blake Brown experiences firsthand the innovation that comes as a result of agriculture research. Since opening in 1962, thousands of projects have taken place on crops including corn, cotton, soybeans, grain-sorghum, wheat and more. In this episode, Brown shares a little of what is happening at the center today along with the story of its founder, Tom McCutchen, who is known as “the father of Tennessee no-till.” McCutchen’s story is included in Discovery Park’s exhibit on innovation in agriculture that opens Dec. 5, 2020.
In this episode, three members of the Weakley County Reconciliation Project share the organization’s goal of creating a diverse, nonpartisan group of community members seeking to engage others in an open dialogue on matters of race, racism and social injustice in the region. Guests include Robert Nunley, youth programs worker; Bro. Randy Cooper, minister at First United Methodist Church of Martin; and Henrietta Giles, communications professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
From singing in her church choir to playing piano in school recitals, Achana Jarrett’s passion for the arts has played a significant role in her life. That passion is even more evident in her career. As the executive director of the Brownsville-Haywood County Arts Council, Achana continues to cultivate art programs in the community where she was raised. Listeners will enjoy hearing from this charismatic leader as she explains how music, theater, dance and art influences the lives in her community.
As the executive director of Stax Museum in Memphis, Tenn., Jeff Kollath is surrounded by the history of American soul music every day. He shares the story of STAX Records and the powerful message of educating young people by using songs from the greats, such as Jimi Hendrix, Creedence and Otis Redding. In this episode, listeners will enjoy hearing about the “happy accidents” that came from the little recording studio on East McLemore Avenue in Memphis.
Matt Marshall is a passionate advocate for racial reconciliation in West Tennessee. In addition to getting to know this fascinating West Tennessean a little better in this episode, you’ll hear more about some of the work he and others are doing to provide venues for listening, learning and discussing race, diversity, inclusion and equity in our communities. Matt’s motto, “The way forward is together,” has sparked many informative and educational conversations. Matt, who is president and CEO of United Way of West Tennessee and the young adults pastor at Historic First Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn., is also helping lead the way in the Jackson Equity Project, a program that advocates for equity and justice for marginalized, disenfranchised and oppressed people.
She now calls West Tennessee home, but Lauren Smothers spent much of her childhood in Krasnodar, Russia and the United Kingdom with her missionary parents, and often had her nose in a book or could be found writing in her journal. Today, Lauren is an independent bookstore owner in Jackson, Tenn. and continues her writing. This episode is especially meaningful for those who love book stores in rural communities, and all listeners will enjoy hearing how Lauren made her dream come true, in spite of the challenges of opening a new business during a pandemic.
In this special episode, we’re commemorating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and kicking off Discovery Park of America’s new pop-up exhibits on the women’s suffrage movement. Guests include Dr. Renee LaFleur, associate professor of history and director of the Center for Women and Gender Equality at the University of Tennessee at Martin; Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, the Tom Elam distinguished professor of history, also at UT Martin; and Dr. Minoa D. Uffelman with the history department at Austin Peay State University. The guests take listeners behind the scenes of this important moment in history and discuss the roles of women activists in Tennessee's history and how their impact can still be felt today.
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