Radio Documentary Marking the 100th Anniversary of Waco Lynching to Air on KWBU Beginning May 9

May 6, 2016

WACO, Texas (May 6, 2016) — “Waco’s Unfinished Legacy: 100 Years after Jesse Washington,” a radio documentary written and researched by Baylor University students, will air on KWBU-FM 103.3 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, as well as May 15 and May 16.

The three-episode documentary from Baylor’s history department examines the context, history and legacy of the lynching of Jesse Washington on May 15, 1916. An estimated 15,000 onlookers gathered to witness the murder, with some taking part in the killing of Washington, a teenage farmhand accused of raping and killing his boss’ wife.

“The events following Jesse Washington’s trial have cast a proverbial shadow over Waco for the last 100 years,” said Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., associate professor of history in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences and director of Baylor’s Institute for Oral History. “This three-part radio series looks back at how the lynching of Jesse Washington exposed injustice, shocked the nation and forever impacted race relations in the city.”

He said that the students delved into archival materials and listened to oral histories before writing the segments. They also identified and interviewed experts to include their perspectives as well as those who had been interviewed and whose accounts are included in the university's archived oral history collection.

"This brings needed insight to this case — an incident so shocking and difficult that it deeply challenges us as Wacoans," Sloan said.

Episode 1 establishes the context for the events of the violence; Episode 2 traces the story of the arrest, trial and lynching; and Episode 3 examines the event’s legacy.

The students in an oral and public history class who made the documentary include juniors Stephanie Endicott, Dalton Strouse, Ellen Wilkerson and Evangeline Eilers; and senior Ezra Reilly. The documentary was produced by reporter Carlos Morales of KWBU.

Several authors and historians were interviewed, including Bill Carrigan, James SoRelle, Carvin Eison, Kurt Terry, Rick Fair and Patricia Bernstein.

Another research source was the archival interview with Harold Lester Goodman from 1977. Goodman was an eyewitness to the lynching.

The schedule for airing is:

  • Monday, May 9 (Episode 1): 7:45 a.m., 4:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 11 (Episode 2): 7:45 a.m., 4:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
  • Friday, May 13 (Episode 3): 7:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.
  • Also airing will be “Behind the Story,” which includes all episodes and additional interviews.

    Those times will be:

  • Friday, May 13: 11:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, May 15: 3:30 p.m.
  • Monday, May 16: 8 p.m.
  • The city will join the Community Race Relations Coalition for a memorial service commemorating Washington's death at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at Bledsoe Miller Recreation Center, 300 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Waco.

    The documentary episodes will be available at KWBU’s website at kwbu.org soon after they air. For historical information about the lynching, visit wacohistory.org/items/show/55.

    For further information, contact Stephen Sloan at stephen_sloan@baylor.edu or 254-710-6290.

    ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

    Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

    ABOUT BAYLOR COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES

    The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines.

    ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR ORAL HISTORY

    Through dynamic, recorded interviews, the Institute for Oral History preserves the stories of individuals who helped create the fabric of history and whose lives, in turn, were shaped by the people, places, events and ideas of their day. The Institute has recorded and preserved oral histories since 1970, earning along the way a strong reputation for multidisciplinary outreach to both academic scholars and community historians by providing professional leadership, educational tools, and research opportunities.

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