What Happened in Alabama PodcastWhat Happened in Alabama Podcast

EP 6: The Slave Codes

Rules were a major part of Lee’s household growing up. But it wasn’t until he started to dig into his family’s history that he began to realize that the rules that he was expected to follow had a long, dark history. In this episode, Lee speaks with historian Dr. Daina Ramey Berry to better understand the life of Lee’s great-great-grandmother Charity, an enslaved woman, and learn about how the slave codes and Black codes shaped her life, and the lives of her descendants. Later Lee speaks with Professor Sally Hadden to learn about the origins of the slave codes, and how they’ve influenced the rules that govern our modern society.
What Happened in Alabama PodcastWhat Happened in Alabama Podcast

EP 5: Meet the Pughs

When Lee got the results back from his DNA test, he was stunned to discover that he had pages and pages of white cousins. All his life he’d been under the impression that 95% of his DNA traced to West Africa. This discovery opened up a new historical pathway, one that traces all the way back to 17th century Wales. In this episode, Lee takes us on the journey to discover his white ancestry. Later, Lee sits down with two newly-found white cousins to understand how differently history shaped the Black and White sides of one family. 
What Happened in Alabama PodcastWhat Happened in Alabama Podcast

EP 2: Meet the Hawkins

Growing up in a middle-class suburb in the 1980s often felt idyllic to Lee. It was the age of crank calls and endless summers playing outside. The Hawkins kids were raised by their parents to excel in everything they put their minds to — and they did. They were model students at school and in their community. But at home, a pervading sense of fear and paranoia governed the household. In this episode, Lee sits down with his younger sister Tiffany to discuss the tensions at home. Later, he talks with psychotherapist and trauma expert Brandon Jones to uncover the roots of his parents’ fears, and how it dates back to slavery and the Jim Crow era in the United States.
What Happened in Alabama PodcastWhat Happened in Alabama Podcast

EP 1: Prologue

When journalist Lee Hawkins was growing up, his father, Leroy, would have nightmares about his childhood in Alabama. When Lee was in his 30s, he started to have his own nightmares about his childhood in Minnesota. These shared nightmares became a clue that set Lee on a decade-long genealogical journey. In this episode we meet Lee and his Dad, and through them, we discover the roots of What Happened in Alabama?, and reveal the stakes of daring to ask the question – and all the questions that followed.