Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WUIS to air special centennial coverage of the Springfield race riot

Public radio station WUIS will present special, original programming in observance of the 1908 Springfield race riot over three days – Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, August 6, 7, and 8.

This special coverage for the centennial of “The Riot” was produced by WUIS reporter Jenna Dooley. Segments will air each day on Morning Edition at 8:20 a.m. and All Things Considered at 4:50 p.m.

Illinois Edition will also present programming observing the centennial at 6:30 p.m. Friday, August 8, and at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 9.

While Springfield is known as the home of Abraham Lincoln, the city was also the site of a darker chapter in the history of American race relations. One hundred years ago this August, racial tensions erupted into three days of rioting that left two black men dead and many black-owned businesses burned to the ground. Several others, black and white, were injured in the mob violence.

These special programs will present a history and timeline of those bloody three days, including archived audio clips from first-person accounts. Listeners will also hear an interview with the oral historian who, some years later, collected interviews from members of the black community who had lived through the riot. Finally, a look at the status of race relations in Springfield today will include conversations with community members who are taking a leadership role in preserving the history of the past.

WUIS-WIPA is a listener-supported public radio service of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield. WUIS' mission is to satisfy a curious, societally engaged audience through programming and community outreach.

For more information or for the program schedule, visit