1908 Springfield Race Riots

UIS Brookens Library Archives

The site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot could soon become a National Historic Monument.

Rachel Otwell

Preston Jackson is a martial artist, an accomplished guitar player, an educator and professor-emeritus, and a visual artist who has studios in Bartonville, Peoria and Chicago. His newest work, unveiled on Tuesday, is a mural that depicts the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis caring for the wounded after the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield.

Russell Hurst

Earlier this month, we reported on the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield and what's being done to remember and reconcile 110 years after the violence broke out. As part of that reporting, we spoke with Kelly Wickham Hurst, CEO and founder of the advocacy organization Being Black at School.

Sangamon Valley Collection, Lincoln Library

It's been 110 years since the 1908 Race Riot erupted in Springfield. The violence and its aftermath inspired the founding of the NAACP, the prominent civil rights organization. A number of groups in the city recognized and remembered the violence and lives lost in a series of public events earlier this month. There are also plans to ensure more recognition in the future of a violent period many residents say deserves more attention.

Rachel Otwell

Kathryn Harris remembers coming across a manila folder, tucked away in a filing cabinet. It was the seventies, and she was working at Springfield’s public Lincoln Library at the time. The newspaper clippings inside told a story of a city in flames, of lynchings and death  — something she hadn’t remembered hearing before.

I was born and raised in and near Springfield. However it wasn't until I was a freshman in college over in Ohio that I was taught the NAACP was founded as a result of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot

SJ-R

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Tim Landis.

Wikimedia Commons

As you may know - over a century ago Springfield underwent what is called the 1908 Race Riot. It was a day of lynching and upset - many black people were attacked after two back-to-back reports of assaults on white women by black men induced an angry mob. 

St. John's and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine have plans for a new women and children's medical center. The plot of land along 9th street contains the foundations of homes burnt during the 1908 race riot