Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
In October 1983, Maurice Bishop, the revolutionary leader and prime minister of Grenada, was executed alongside seven others amid a power struggle in the island nation. Ever since, a mystery has persisted: What happened to their bodies? The whereabouts of Bishop’s remains is unknown, and for the past two years, Washington Post journalists have been trying to find them.
Martine Powers hosts the new Post investigative podcast, “The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop.” She’s been fascinated by Bishop’s story for years, and she takes listeners on a journey through his rise and untimely death. The podcast is part mystery, party history. Bishop was a dynamic, charismatic leader, and an important figure in the history of Black power and politics, his influence felt in Grenada and the United States. The Reagan administration saw Bishop as a socialist threat and worried that the Soviet Union might build a base on Grenada. Days after Bishop was killed, the United States led an invasion of the island.
Listeners may also know Martine as the host of “Post Reports,” the news organization's daily podcast. Shane Harris and Martine have spent a lot of time together in the recording studio, but this is the first time he’s asked her the questions. They discussed her new project, how she made her way from print reporting to podcasts, and what she thinks audio journalism gives readers that traditional news reporting often can’t.
Among the works mentioned in this episode:
- “The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop” episode guide
- Martine’s bio
- Bishop speaking in New York in 1983
- President Ronald Reagan speaking about Bishop and Grenada (around 14:20): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfLGDxnRH-Q
- Excerpts of Reagan’s address following the invasion of Grenada
- Washington Post coverage of the invasion:
- White House photos during the invasion
Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.