The tragic story of Emmett Till is well known. In 1955, the 14-year-old Chicago kid went to visit relatives in Mississippi. In a little cross-roads grocery store, Emmett whistled at the pretty white woman behind the counter. A few days later, her husband and brother-in-law kidnapped, tortured, and killed the African American youth. An all-white jury took an hour to find the defendants “not guilty.” Much like Trayvon Martin and Laquan McDonald in our own day, Till’s was a powerful story about race in America. Elliott Gorn, historian at Loyola University Chicago, will discuss why Emmett Till was, and continues to be, so important.
This public lecture is organized in conjunction with the Newberry exhibition Civil War to Civil Rights: African American Chicago in the Newberry Collection. The exhibition is curated by the Newberry Library with generous support from The Allstate Insurance Company. Additional support provided by the Rosaline G. Cohn Endowment for Exhibitions.
Listen to the lecture.
Free and open to the public.