Wednesday, November 10, 2004

What you didn't hear on WUNC this morning

No not that, though that's bad enough. We didn't get to hear Juan Williams' interview of Tim Tyson's beautifully written and locally relevant Blood Done Sign My Name. A compelling weave of history and memoir, the book tells the story of a racially motivated murder in Oxford, N.C., in 1970. Tim was thrilled that this week was finally the week: it had been postponed many times since its recording in June. This morning, it went out over the national feed for "Morning Edition," but on our local station it was bumped by a pledge break.

Fundraising is important, as Paul noted, but the sad thing about this is that WUNC is the station they listen to in Oxford. The station's response this morning was an apology combined with the suggestion that people could hear it on the internet. I don't know, but I suspect that that won't exactly do it up in Oxford.

They did get the benefit of Tyson's company at their annual "Diversity Banquet" this year, however, which was surely a memorable occasion.

Tyson, who described some of the segregation conditions in Oxford in his book and in his talk, said some are asking, "Why dredge all this up now?"

He gave a historian's answer:
History is not just the past, he said, but the present and the future, and knowing the past is necessary to understand the present. "It matters how we explain ourselves to ourselves."
You can hear the interview here. I recommend it.

UPDATE 11/11: They ran it this morning, we were happy to hear. After they said they couldn't because it had come over the live satellite feed and they couldn't get it back, this represents a victory of the call-in campaign that Tim organized. Good work!

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