Not Even Past: Dred Scott Reprise

Not Even Past: Dred Scott Reprise (WNYC Studios)

About this episode

Dred Scott v. Sandford is one of the most infamous cases in Supreme Court history: in 1857, an enslaved person named Dred Scott filed a suit for his freedom and lost. In his decision, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney wrote that Black men “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” One Civil War and more than a century later, the Taneys and the Scotts reunite at a Hilton in Missouri to figure out what reconciliation looks like in the 21st century.

Voices in the episode include:

• Lynne Jackson — great-great-granddaughter of Dred and Harriet Scott, and president and founder of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation

• Dred Scott Madison — great-great-grandson of Dred Scott

• Barbara McGregory — great-great-granddaughter of Dred Scott

• Charlie Taney — great-great-grandnephew of Roger Brooke Taney, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who wrote the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision

• Richard Josey — Manager of Programs at the Minnesota Historical Society

Learn more:

• 1857: Dred Scott v. Sandford

• The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation


Special thanks to Kate Taney Billingsley, whose play, "A Man of His Time," inspired the episode; and to Soren Shade for production help. Additional music for this episode by Gyan Riley.

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Supreme Court archival audio comes from Oyez®, a free law project by Justia and the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.

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