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Ferguson, Looking Back And Looking Forward

Willis Arnold
St. Louis Public Radio
A demonstrator holds up a sign during a march to Greater St. Mark Church in Ferguson.

This isn’t the Ferguson show.

It’s a mantra we adopted when we launched We Live Here back in February.  Now, to be clear, Ferguson is what prompted St. Louis Public Radio to start this show in the first place.  No doubt about it. But racial and economic fault lines stretch far beyond a north St. Louis County municipality with 21,000 residents.   Peering into — and exploring ways to bridge — those deep, historic divides is what this show is all about. 

Yet, here we are at the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man who was fatally shot by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.  The reaction to that deadly encounter on a steamy August afternoon shook St. Louis to its core, and the aftershocks can be seen in cities and towns across the country. 

So, is the landscape around racial and economic disparities in St. Louis and beyond starting to shift?  Can some changes already be seen? Those were the basic questions on the minds of St. Louis Public Radio's reporters as they produced story after story on where we stand and where we might be going.   

We live here, after all. And, just like many of our friends and neighbors, we're compelled to take stock.    

We asked reporters Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann to help us out.  They tell us while some ideas for post-Ferguson solutions have started to take root, the seeds for many more that have yet to be planted.      

Tim Lloyd was a founding host of We Live Here from 2015 to 2018 and was the Senior Producer of On Demand and Content Partnerships until Spring of 2020.