‘Always in Season’ Shines Spotlight On Terror of Lynchings

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Feb 25, 2020

On August 29, 2014, 17-year-old Lennon Lacy made national headlines after he was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, North Carolina, and law enforcement officials ruled it a suicide. In the new Independent Lens documentary “Always in Season,” which debuts on PBS on February 24, filmmaker Jacqueline Olive explores the legacy of racial terror in the United States via Claudia Lacy’s fight for justice for her son.

"Think about it as if it were your son or your daughter," Lacy says in the doc. "If you knew in your heart and in your mind that someone took your child’s life and everything that you’ve done that is humanly possible they take it, and they twisted it and turned it, how far would you go to get to the truth. How soon would you let it go?"

Narrated by award-winning actor Danny Glover, the film also includes the voices of Lacy’s family and friends, plus experts who speak to the history of lynchings, including Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund president Sherrilyn Ifill and the 30-something-year-old White woman whom Lacy was seeing when he died. Bladenboro’s medical examiner also appears in the documentary, making clear that he believes Lacy was murdered to put on "a good show of a lynching."

"Sympathetic, sharp and resilient, [Jacqueline Olive’s] quest to get at the truth parallels Claudia Lacy’s own long journey to fight for justice and find healing," Lois Vossen, Independent Lens executive producer, says in an announcement about the project. "The film often strikes a mournful tone in the face of injustice, but ultimately it remains hopeful, and a timely and crucial exhortation for us all to consider how we can work together to further the justice that has long been overdue in our nation.”

Watch the trailer above and stream the documentary on PBS’ Independent Lens.