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Exhibit and Lecture in Malpass to Commemorate Centennial of Springfield Race Riot of 1908

September 15, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - To commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Springfield Race Riot of 1908, Western Illinois University's history department and the University Libraries are hosting the traveling exhibit, "Summer of Hate: A Modern Perspective on the Springfield Race Riot of 1908," in the Leslie F. Malpass Library throughout the month of October.

Created by high school students in the Summer Scholars Program at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the exhibit will present an overview of the events, key players and aftermath of the rioting.

The Springfield Race Riot of 1908 produced murder, racially motivated assaults and the destruction of the homes and businesses of many of the city's African American residents. The riot also captured the attention of both the nation and the world and inspired the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) the following year.

As part of the exhibit, and to help individuals understand the historical significance of this event, Sundiata Cha-Jua, scholar of the history of African Americans in Illinois and professor in the history department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will deliver the lecture "Fighting as We Build: African Americans Constructing Community and Resisting Racial Violence in Illinois, 1890-1919" at 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9, in the Garden Lounge of the Malpass Library.

The lecture will set the Springfield Race Riot of 1908 in the context of the time, according to Jeffery Darensbourg, outreach and marketing librarian.

Cha-Jua's lecture is co-sponsored by Western's history department, University Libraries, First Year Experience, University Diversity Council, Associated Students of History, Phi Alpha Theta, History Honors Society and WIU's African American studies department.

The event is open free to the public, and free parking will be available in Lot 19, directly west of the Malpass Library.

For more information contact Darensbourg at (309) 298-3014 or

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