BUFFALO, N.Y.– WNED’s creation of quality television and radio programming for local and national broadcast continues with the premiere of two new original productions in observance of Black History Month: “UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: THE WILLIAM STILL STORY” airs on PBS stations nationwide on Monday, February 6 at 10 p.m. and a companion radio series “THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD ON THE NIAGARA FRONTIER” airs on WNED-AM 970 and Classical 94.5/WNED-FM beginning the week of January 30.
“UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: THE WILLIAM STILL STORY,” a compelling 60-minute documentary uses powerful diaries, evocative reenactments, historical perspectives and moving accounts to explore the one of the most important, yet largely unheralded heroes of the Underground Railroad and the major role Canada played in the complex humanitarian enterprise.
The first generation of his family born free, abolitionist and historian William Still (1821-1902) was determined to get as many runaways as he could across the U.S. border to Canada. Still risked everything to accept delivery of transported crates containing human “cargo”, keep detailed records of individuals’ stories, and to help liberate fugitive slaves from “the land of bondage.” Scenes were shot on living history plantations in the South and in locations in Southern Ontario.
“William Still is a true American hero who -- until now--has not had the tribute he deserves,” said Donald K. Boswell, WNED President and C.E.O. “This ‘starring role’ brings to light Still’s legacy and reveals the important role that Canada played in the success of his valiant efforts for his fellow man’s freedom. WNED is proud to present Still’s story and the importance of our local story to public broadcasting audiences through the prism of these two new WNED productions.”
“THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD ON THE NIAGARA FRONTIER” is a six-part radio series created to complement the PBS broadcast andhighlight the significance Western New York and Southern Ontario held during this pivotal period in North American history. Short segments revealing some of the people and places that were integral to the Underground Railroad’s success in the region will air mornings on WNED-AM 970 (6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. from Jan. 30 – Feb.6) and afternoons on Classical 94.5 /WNED-FM (2 p.m. from Jan. 29-Feb. 3).
There will also be a web component to the radio series at www.wned.org with information on historical sites, museums, and organizations related to the Underground Railroad and Black History in Western New York and Southern Ontario. A companion website for the TV program will be featured on pbs.org.
“UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: THE WILLIAM STILL STORY is a production of 90th Parallel Productions Ltd., in association with Rogers Broadcasting Limited and WNED–TV Buffalo/Toronto. Funding was provided by CN Railway, Rogers Cable Network, Canada Media Fund, and Rogers Documentary Fund. Additional support from David W. Pretty, Vernon Achber & Phil Lind, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting. With participation of Rogers Broadcasting, Ltd., Ontario Media Development Corporation and The Government of Canada-Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit Program.
Funding for “THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD ON THE NIAGARA FRONTIER”was provided by CN Railway and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
WNED-TV is a leading producer of single-topic documentary programming for national broadcast on PBS including “The War of 1812,” “Chautauqua: An American Narrative,” “Elbert Hubbard: An American Original,” “The Adirondacks,” “Niagara Falls,” “The Marines,” “Window to the Sea,” “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo” and “America’s Houses of Worship.”
Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright and Well/WORLD TV, Classical 94.5/WNED-FM and WNED-AM 970, member-supported WNED Buffalo/Toronto provides high quality programming and services to local, regional and national audiences that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate Western New York and Southern Ontario communities. Additional information about WNED can be found at wned.org.