Program: Specials and Documentaries
Airing Sundays at 6 p.m.
State of the Re:Union tells the stories of everyday people that are doing extraordinary work to help each other, to engage their community, and to overcome obstacles.
March 1 – Tulsa, Oklahoma: Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, Oklahoma sits at a crossroads of American identities. In a special episode, we travel to the middle of Middle America to see what happens when these identities collide. We explore one of the country’s deadliest race riots, a story that has been mostly suppressed for 90 years; visit a lovingly-crafted museum dedicated to spreading poetry to rural Oklahoma; and—in two special stories produced by This Land Press—visit a couple of churches, one struggling mightily to integrate and the other building a shrine for undocumented immigrants in a state with some of the harshest immigration laws.
March 8 – Appalachia Rising
SOTRU explores the misguided portrayal of the rural Appalachian region as a place of victims – a people at the mercy of the region’s poverty or bigotry. We travel to southern West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky to examine how residents are balancing deep ties to their history while facing the future in a new way.
March 15 – Comics – With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
In this episode we explore a community where when evil rears its head, someone finds a way to set things right, even if they have to make sacrifices and defy the laws of our universe to do it. In this hour we tell the stories of real-life battles between good and evil in the world of comic books, where underdogs often come out on top and fantasy merges with reality. From creators and whistle blowers to real-life superheroes who’ve brought comics to life, putting on their own capes and costumes to fight for justice in their cities.
March 22 – Birmingham – The Long Story Short
Birmingham tends to provoke thoughts of Freedom Riders, church bombings, civil rights marches and police dogs. Nearly fifty years later, people in Birmingham still can’t escape their history, especially the painful parts. Some have started to unearth the city’s past in order to face the future.
SOTRU brings listeners into the courtrooms, churches and backyards of Birmingham to answer the question borne out by the lives of people here: Is Birmingham a monument to brutal segregation, or one of the few American cities willing to take a hard look at race?
March 29 – Summer In Sanctuary – An American Graduate Special
This episode combines radio drama and documentary to explore America’s dropout epidemic through the intimate story of one man’s attempt to make a difference in the lives of a group of high-risk kids. Based on the off-broadway show by SOTRU host Al Letson, this episode chronicles Letson’s journey teaching at the summer camp of a community center in an economically challenged neighborhood. Told through monologue, poetry, and sound-rich reporting, this episode challenges perceptions about race, class and education, to reveal unseen challenges facing students in communities across the country.