Board that will review FBI files from civil rights era taking shape

The U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday approved four nominees to serve on a national board tasked with reviewing and eventually releasing to the public hundreds of thousands of pages of FBI documents on murder cases from the civil rights era.

Most cases involve Ku Klux Klan murders of African Americans that occurred in Louisiana or other Southern states.

A fifth nominee for the Civil Rights Records Review Board has yet to be named.

The four nominees approved Wednesday are university professors. One, Hank Klibanoff, is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist now teaching at Emory University. The other three are Margaret A. Burnham of Northeastern University, Gabrielle M. Dudley of Emory University, and Brenda E. Stevenson of UCLA.

The possibility of gaining access to unredacted documents about these cases has long been a hope of journalists, historians and family members still searching for answers to unsolved homicides.

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The stories have received thanks from the family members of victims and have earned regional and national acclaim.

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