A short film starring Springfield’s Dr. Wesley Robinson McNeese won a regional Emmy award. In the video, McNeese reads a piece of original poetry titled “Face to Face” from a site of ruins from the 1908 Race Riot. The massacre consisted of white mobs attacking innocent Black people by burning their businesses and homes and lynching two innocent men. On Nov. 21, Chris Costello won a 2020 Mid-America Emmy Award for the film. He is a producer for The Storyteller Studios, a Springfield-based marketing company. “This isn’t my win or even my team’s win, but a win for Wes, and a win for all the Black voices in Springfield and beyond that have gone unheard for too long,” Costello said in a statement. McNeese said he was grateful to be part of a project that shed more light on the “transgenerational racial trauma most African Americans grapple with every day.” The project was a collaborative effort that involved a grant from the University of Illinois Presidential Initiative to Celebrate the Impact of the Arts and Humanities. UIS history professor Devin Hunter had approached the studio with the concept and the city and Fever River Research helped facilitate the shoot.

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