The Atlantic Announces Holy Week, Narrative Podcast Coming March 14

Over eight episodes, Holy Week explores the uprisings that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, and how those seven days in America diverted the course of a social revolution.

The Atlantic
The Atlantic

Today, The Atlantic released a trailer announcing Holy Week, a new narrative podcast hosted and reported by senior editor Vann R. Newkirk II. All episodes of the podcast will be available on March 14; listen to the trailer and subscribe now here. Holy Week marks a return to narrative podcasts for The Atlantic following its Peabody-winning Floodlines in 2020, which was also hosted by Newkirk and was widely hailed as one of the year’s best podcasts.

Holy Week tells the story of the immediate aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination on April 4, 1968––a moment that is often viewed as a conclusion to a powerful era of civil rights in America. But what followed his killing was one of the most fiery, disruptive, and revolutionary weeks in American history—one that has been nearly forgotten. In a wide range of original interviews, Holy Week highlights the stories of the activists who turned heartbreak into action, the families scorched by chaos, and the politicians who worked to contain the grief felt across America. The podcast recounts how these seven days diverted the course of a social revolution and set the stage for modern clashes over voting rights, police brutality, redlining, critical race theory, and racism in America.

Newkirk’s reporting for The Atlantic exposes untold or overlooked parts of American history that help explain the systemic conditions that exist today. He has reported on the myth of voter fraud and the extraordinary political efforts to prove that it is real and widespread; how the catastrophic outcome of the levee breaches in New Orleans was a failure of government, media, and society; and the racist policies and illegal pressures that resulted in Black farmers in the Delta owning almost nothing of the bounty beneath their feet. In 2018, he was a co-editor of KING, a special commemorative issue of the magazine examining Dr. King’s life and work, and the unsteady progress toward his goals. Newkirk’s reporting also helped shape the feature documentary Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power, released on Peacock this month, which tells the story of the local movement and young Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organizers in the 1960s who fought for voting rights and for Black power.

Holy Week begins what will be a significant year for The Atlantic in audio, with several strategic initiatives set to launch in the coming months. Audio is led by Claudine Ebeid as executive producer, alongside managing editor Andrea Valdez. Ebeid joined The Atlantic from The New York Times and, before that, NPR. The Holy Week team includes Jocelyn Frank and Ethan Brooks, with sound design by David Herman. New additions to the audio team in the past year include senior producer Theo Balcomb and engineer Rob Smierciak, who join producer Rebecca Rashid, producer Kevin Townsend, and senior producer A.C. Valdez.

Press Contacts:
Paul Jackson and Anna Bross | The Atlantic
press@theatlantic.com