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How death of Willie Mays impacts Birmingham baseball game; Shreveport responds to spike in gun violence; Sea Change part 2

Former Negro League Baseball players honored at Rickwood Field in a pre-game ceremony before the Major League Baseball game
Alana Schreiber
Former Negro League Baseball players honored at Rickwood Field in a pre-game ceremony before the Major League Baseball game

For the last few weeks, we’ve been airing our original podcast, Road to Rickwood. Hosted by Roy Wood Jr., the four part series documents the history of Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama – America’s oldest ballpark – and the role it played in the civil rights movement.

The podcast was released in anticipation of a Major League Baseball game at Rickwood Field, meant to honor the Negro Leagues and legendary ballplayer – and Birmingham native – Willie Mays. But just two days before the game, Mays passed away.WWNO’s Alana Schreiber is the executive producer of Road to Rickwood. She went to last week’s game and spoke with fans about how his death gave the game a new sense of sadness and importance.

Last week we brought you the first part of our latest episode of Sea Change. Writer Anya Groner explored how many Vietnamese-Louisianans are having to change their relationship with water to deal with an eroding coastline.

Where we pick up today, Groner visits a garden to see how some of these shrimpers are now trying to make a living on land.

Violent crime appears to be trending downward across the South. That’s according to an early look at some new FBI data. But gun violence remains high across the region. One community in particular saw a surge in gun-related deaths last year.

The Gulf States Newsroom’s Kat Stromquist travels to Shreveport, Louisiana, to see how the community is responding.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Matt Bloom. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber; our contributing producers are Matt Bloom and Adam Vos; we receive production and technical support from Garrett Pittman and our assistant producer, Aubry Procell.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:00 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts.

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Alana Schreiber is the creator and executive producer of Road to Rickwood. She’s a lifelong baseball fan who’s been fascinated by the Negro Leagues ever since she did her fourth grade history project on Buck O’Neil. As an NPR reporter and producer, she’s sought out stories about the Negro Leagues all across the country – they’re never hard to find.