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Harris County Courthouse

Harris County Courthouse

picture by By Rivers Langley; SaveRivers (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons



Marker for 1896 double lynching on Broadway is moving forward. An apology should come with it, activist says

A lynching in Columbus: ‘Mystery’ mob leader known



4/26/18  Article in The Guardian

4/15/17, an interview with me on p. 70 in Voices, Journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, Winter 2017

2/23/17 Blog about The Family Tree on

1/27/17 A historic apology for a lynching in Lagrange, GA with mention of book and quote by author

1/16/ 17 An article from my alma mater, the U. of Georgia

1/11/17 Athens (Ga.) Banner Herald

2/28/17 Simon & Schuster/Atria releases The Family Tree in paperback


12/2/16  Radio interview: "Between the Lines," FM station KUOM, Kalamazoo, MI

Another interview for blogtalkradio aired Jan. '16.

My most recent televised conversations: "Inside Scoop," Ch. 10, Fairfax, VA (local access cable-also You Tube) & Brooklyn Historical Society with Ed Ball (Slaves in the Family) and NYTimes reporter Rachel Swarns (American Tapestry).

This isn't new but I just ran across it at

MAY 2016

The Black Advancement book of the month is The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth by Karen Branan.  This magnificent book was brought to Our attention by Ronald Martin’s TVOne News Now Show.  This non fictional account of Karen Branan’s family history speaks to the messy, twisted, and ugly nature of America and its ongoing issues with its original sin.  As a young women Karen noticed her parents, who she deems as having racist attitudes, never discussed the issue of race in a reasonable tone.  This issues came to the forefront when Karen discovers she was going to become a Grandmother to a half Black child, fearing that her son would be disowned by her mother and father.  This fear makes Karen confront the hidden issue of race head on and what she discovers crushes and frees her.

The Lagrange (Ga.) News covers my 9/1 presentation at Lagrange Memorial Library. 

WRBL TV in Columbus, Ga. promotes 8/30 appearance.

The Columbus Ledger Enquirer runs article about my upcoming visit to the area. 8/24/16

The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University recently released results of its two-year investigation of the Henry "Peg" Gilbert case discussed in my book. Gilbert was murdered in the Hamilton jail in 1947 by the police chief and other unnamed men. Go to for the full report.

7/26 Standing Room Only at East City Bookshop, our new Capitol Hill (DC) bookstore! Good discussion of racial (in)justice then and now, with local action groups inviting others to get involved.  Here's the story fromCapitol Hill Village News:

A Family Tree Bears Fruit of Many Colors By Molly Singer


Karen Branan, a CHV member, has been looking her entire life for an anti-racist place to live, and she still has not found it. Nevertheless, her journey has been filled with groundbreaking reporting and research, particularly about her own family and race relations. Branan was a guest author-speaker at the new East City Bookshop on July 26 where she addressed 59 attendees, including many CHV members. Branan’s new Pulitzer-nominated book, The Family Tree, holds a conversation on two levels about race issues in the United States. Branan conducted extensive research and weaves a beautiful narrative about a series of events within her own family that cover the gamut of inter-racial families, white power structures that serve to perpetuate oppression and economic exploitation, and community response to race issues. Through the book and storyline, profiling a specific set of events, Branan also illustrates the pervasive patterns and history across the United States. Branan discussed how pervasive inter-racial relationships have been and the ways that DNA testing is shining a light on this reality. Branan also briefly discussed how she has engaged with her newly discovered African American family. She shared the stage at East City Bookshop with two non-profit organizations dedicated to bridging racial divides. A representative from the DC Chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) spoke about their work to engage whites in a series of conversations to learn about race issues and how individuals can recognize and confront bias and discrimination. Another non-profit, Coming to the Table, unites descendants of enslaved persons and enslavers to foster a healing process. Coming to the Table was started at Eastern Mennonite University, and is a national group with a DC presence. Both organizations have ongoing activities across the city. On Capitol Hill, Hill East is in the process of sponsoring community dialogues to address race and class issues in that gentrifying neighborhood. Did you know that seniors have greater skills at holding a range of perspectives and facilitating productive dialogue among differing groups than any other age group? Imagine a group of seniors as the leaders to facilitate racial and class conversations and change in our community. If you are interested in participating as a part of CHV in dialogues, actions, or activities around race and class issues, please reach out to Molly Singer.

6/18 Invited to be a speaker at the Decatur Book Festival, the largest in the country, Sept. 2-4.  I will join Ross Howell, Jr., author of Forsaken, a novel based on the real-life 1912 lynching of 16-year-old Virginia Christian, for a panel at 11:15 on Sept. 3.

6/18 Simon & Schuster/Atria Books has nominated "The Family Tree" for a Pulitzer Prize.

6/2 Notice of event in Lagrange (Ga.) Daily News.


6/1 Op-Ed by Karen Branan on identity of 1896 Columbus lynch mob leader in Columbus Ledger -Enquirer.

5/20 Panelist at American Society of Journalists and Authors annual Writers Conference, Roosevelt Hotel, NYC. Featured in ASJA's monthly magazine.


3/26 A review from the Christian Science Monitor is available now.


Just noticed I made the Sandhills (N.C.) Best-seller list some time back!


On May 1, I'll be at The Literary Hill Bookfest.


3/22 Columbus Ledger article about The Family Tree.


3/20 The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia makes No. 10 on the Denver Post's bestseller list.


Caught this tweet on Google 3/17:  Tattered Cover Book Store (@tatteredcoverbookstore ...Karen Branan speaks to a packed house at the LoDo store.) They're right; it was standing room only, a great crowd at a great bookstore in Denver.


3/19 More finds on Google: Lots of libraries around the country announcing receipt of my book and reviewing it -- Enterprise, AL, and Peabody, Mass., for example.


3/5/16 I love finding things like this: The Gouverneur (NY) Public Library announces on its website five new adult fiction books available. One is The Family Tree.


3/3 My interview with Shareef Aleem on KGNU Denver  (scroll down page to 3/3/16 5 pm)


3/5/16 Coming in a few days: article about The Family Tree in Christian Science Monitor


Ernie Douglas, the magnificent blues pianist, who accompanied my reading at my Book Launch Party on Jan. 29, passed away several days later. We were privileged to attend his last performance and will never forget not only his praying but his spontaneous preaching on how we are all one family, black and white, all one blood, and must act NOW to be the change we seek. R.I.P. sweet man.


3/4/16 Discussion on BlogtalkRadio's "Research at the National Archives and Beyond" with Bernice Bennett


How did I miss this? Vivinews named The Family Tree one of "7 best books" released in January!


2/26/16 Radio Interview on WHUR's "Daily Drum" 


A new review is out from Joe Nathan at Home Town Source.


I was a guest on "Truth to Tell" on KFAI Radio of Minneappolis/St Paul.  It can be heard by clicking here.


On Feb. 7 look for a review of The Family Tree in the Raleigh News Observer.


On Feb. 2, at 9:30 a.m., est, I was interviewed by Celeste Headlee on "On Second Thought," at Georgia Public Broadcasting.


Jan. 28 the Huffington Post named The Family Tree one of five "hot books" of the week.


 The Men's Journal   calls The Family Tree one of seven "best books" for January.


The Atlanta Journal Constitution named The Family Tree  one of 14 to read in 2016 in its Southern Book Roundup.


The website Playbuzz called The Family Tree  "one of 14 southern books you need to read in 2016."


The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education  calls The Family Tree a book  "that may be of interest to African American scholars."


A review of The Family Tree by the Hill Rag is now online.


My radio interview with Maggie Linton on Sirius XM


Listen to my MLK Day Interview with Leonard Lopate 


Columbus Ledger posts article about public discussion led by Karen Branan about the 1912 lynching in Harris County

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