Supporters of Springfield’s 1908 Race Riot want commemorative memorial

Paul Golladay of Fever River Research in Springfield excavates for artifacts at the race riot site near the intersection of 10th and Madison Street Wednesday August 10, 2022.

T. David Parker said he was taken aback when he first learned about the 1908 Springfield Race Riot.

Parker, an architect with Melotte Morse Leonatti Parker, Ltd., said he remembered reading about it on signs posted on the Old State Capitol Plaza.

At a public listening and question-and-answer session hosted by the National Park Service about a proposed monument commemorating the riot in which two prominent Black men were lynched, Parker, who didn’t grow up in Springfield, gave his full-throated endorsement.

“This monument is a way to help tell the rest of that story,” Parker said. “It’s important, especially for our kids. I think this monument is important not only for the city, but for the nation and for the world. We get visitors from all over the world. They need to see this.”

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