On this season of the podcast, we’ve been listening to difficult conversations between loved ones, friends, and sometimes, even strangers. Whether people are sitting down together for the first time or reconnecting, each conversation has run the gamut of human emotion — from joy to despair and everything in between. In this episode, a couple grapples with a horrific memory from the past.Winfred Rembert grew up in the south during the height of the civil rights movement. In the late-60s, he participated in a protest in the town of Americus, Georgia — where racial tensions were especially high — and was arrested as a result.

One day, while Winfred was serving time in the county jail, the deputy sheriff walked into his cell and pulled a gun on him. Fearing for his life, Winfred wrestled the gun out of his hands and managed to escape, but was eventually caught by the police and thrown into the trunk of their car.What happened next is something Winfred kept quiet for a long time. But years later, still suffering from nightmares, he finally told his wife Patsy the truth: that he was one of few people to have ever survived a lynching.

Nearly 50 years later, Winfred and Patsy sat down for StoryCorps to talk about what happened to him. Warning: This story includes racial slurs and a graphic description of violence.

Top photo: Artwork by Lindsay Mound.
Middle photo 1: Winfred and Patsy Rembert in Sycamore, Georgia in 1974, two days before their wedding. Courtesy of the Rembert family.
Middle photo 2: Patsy and Winfred Rembert at their StoryCorps interview in Hamden, Connecticut in April of 2017. By Jacqueline Van Meter for StoryCorps.   
Bottom Photo: Patsy and Winfred Rembert in April of 2017 at their StoryCorps interview in Hamden, Connecticut. By Jud Esty-Kendall for StoryCorps.

Released on February 4, 2020.

Like the music in this episode? Support the artists:
“Heat and Memory” by Jarrett Floyd
“Hollow & ghosts” by Ending Satellites (feat. Francois Creutzer) from the album And So Sing the Black Birds