About Emmett: Emmett Till was a 14-year-old African American boy who was kidnapped in August 1955 from his uncle’s Mississippi home after allegedly whistling at a white woman. His battered body was found 3 days later; two white men were tried and acquitted of his murder shortly thereafter (but they later sold their confession to Look Magazine). Media coverage surrounding Emmett’s funeral and the trial brought wide-spread public awareness and outrage over the treatment of African Americans, and many believe this incident was the true spark for the ensuing Civil Rights Movement. It has also been argued that it served as the basis for the Tom Robinson trial in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Video Shown at the Event

The following video segment was shown at the beginning of the 7:00 p.m. presentation on 4/19 so that the audience had a shared understanding of the case. Please note: this segment contains detailed descriptions of the injuries sustained by Emmett.


CBS 2005 ’60 Minutes’ segment “The Murder of Emmett Till” Part 1 Introduction to the case and trial. Running time: 15.5 minutes

Other Resources

PBS webpage for the 2003 documentary “The Murder of Emmett Till” Great website with lots of information and photos.


CBS 2005 ’60 Minutes’ segment “The Murder of Emmett Till” Part 2 Centers around the re-opening of the case by the FBI. Running time: 10.5 minutes


Documentary film “The Untold Story of Emmett Luis Till” by Keith Beauchamp Running time: 1 hr 8″.


Emmett Till’s Casket Goes to the Smithsonian Online magazine article of an interview with Simeon Wright, Emmett Till’s cousin, recalling the events surrounding Emmett’s murder and the importance of having the casket on public display.


Emmett Till’s Cousins Recall Historic Murder 8/29/14 Chicago Tribune article.


“The Ballad of Emmett Till” by Bob Dylan Video featuring photos of Emmett and the case.


“My Name is Emmett Till” by Emmylou Harris Video of live performance by Harris.

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