Cover image for Emmett Till : the murder that shocked the world and propelled the civil rights movement
Title:
Emmett Till : the murder that shocked the world and propelled the civil rights movement
Author:
Anderson, Devery S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jackson, MS : University Press of Mississippi, [2015]
Physical Description:
xxiii, 552 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Summary:
"Emmett Till offers the first truly comprehensive account of the 1955 murder and its aftermath. It tells the story of Emmett Till, the fourteen-year-old African American boy from Chicago brutally lynched for a harmless flirtation at a country store in the Mississippi Delta. His death and the acquittal of his killers by an all-white jury set off a firestorm of protests that reverberated all over the world and spurred on the civil rights movement. Like no other event in modern history, the death of Emmett Till provoked people all over the United States to seek social change" --
Language:
English
Contents:
Pt. 1. In black and white -- Mother and son -- Mississippi welcomes Emmett Till -- Murder heard round the world -- Countdown -- Tallahatchie trial, Part 1 -- Tallahatchie trial, Part 2 -- Protests, rumors, and revelations -- Clamor, conflict, and another jury -- The Look story and its aftermath -- Never the same -- Pt. 2. In living color -- Revival -- Seeking justice in a new era -- The legacy of Emmett Till.
ISBN:
9781496802842
Format :
Book

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HV6465.M7 A63 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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Summary

Summary


Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement offers the first, and as of 2018, only comprehensive account of the 1955 murder, the trial, and the 2004-2007 FBI investigation into the case and Mississippi grand jury decision. By all accounts, it is the definitive account of the case. It tells the story of Emmett Till, the fourteen-year-old African American boy from Chicago brutally lynched for a harmless flirtation at a country store in the Mississippi Delta. Anderson utilizes documents that had never been available to previous researchers, such as the trial transcript, long-hidden depositions by key players in the case, and interviews given by Carolyn Bryant to the FBI in 2004 (her first in fifty years), as well as other recently revealed FBI documents. Anderson also interviewed family members of the accused killers, most of whom agreed to talk for the first time, as well as several journalists who covered the murder trial in 1955.

Till's death and the acquittal of his killers by an all-white jury set off a firestorm of protests that reverberated all over the world and spurred on the civil rights movement. Like no other event in modern history, the death of Emmett Till provoked people all over the United States to seek social change. Anderson's exhaustively researched book is also the basis for a Hollywood mini-series produced by Jay-Z, Will Smith, Casey Affleck, Aaron Kaplan, James Lassiter, Jay Brown, Ty Ty Smith, John P. Middleton, Rosanna Grace, David B. Clark, and Alex Foster.

For over six decades the Till story has continued to haunt the South as the lingering injustice of Till's murder and the aftermath altered many lives. Fifty years after the murder, renewed interest in the case led the Justice Department to open an investigation into identifying and possibly prosecuting accomplices of the two men originally tried. Between 2004 and 2005, the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the first real probe into the killing and turned up important information that had been lost for decades. Anderson covers the events that led up to this probe in great detail, as well as the investigation itself.

This book will stand as the definitive work on Emmett Till for years to come. Incorporating much new information, the book demonstrates how the Emmett Till murder exemplifies the Jim Crow South at its nadir. The author accessed a wealth of new evidence. Anderson made a dozen trips to Mississippi and Chicago over a ten-year period to conduct research and interview witnesses and reporters who covered the trial. In Emmett Till , Anderson corrects the historical record and presents this critical saga in its entirety.


Author Notes

Devery S. Anderson, Salt Lake City, Utah, is a graduate of the University of Utah and is an editor at Signature Books in Salt Lake City. He has authored or coauthored several books on Mormon history, two of which won the Steven F. Christensen Award for Best Documentary from the Mormon History Association.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi, in 1955 set in motion powerful protests that sparked the civil rights movement and reverberated through the years, prompting an FBI investigation 50 years later. Drawing on new evidence and interviews with Till's family members, witnesses to the murder, and reporters who covered the trial that exonerated the accused killers, Anderson offers a very detailed examination of the murder and its significance in the long history of racial abuses in the South under Jim Crow. He details the lives of Emmet and Mamie Till, his mother, in Chicago; the fateful trip to Mississippi; and the aftermath. In a separate section, Anderson looks at how the story of Till's death reemerged after 50 years and sparked an intense investigation, including the exhumation of Till's body. He concludes with his own theory about the case and its legacy, a fund to investigate cold cases of civil rights murders prior to 1970. Photographs enhance this very thorough and compelling look at the murder that galvanized the civil rights movement and continues to act as a rallying call for racial justice.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2015 Booklist


Choice Review

The 1955 abduction and murder of Emmett Till shocked and disgusted the world. The acquittal of the 14-year-old African American's killers made the shock even more enduring. A generation of young people in particular, including many who would help lead the civil rights movement in sit-ins and as Freedom Riders in Albany and Birmingham, drew stern lessons from the events in Money, Mississippi, that fateful summer. Anderson, an editor at Signature Books, has written what will surely remain the most thorough book on the murder, its aftermath, and its larger legacy. Forensic in his reconstruction of the details of the case and judicious in his arguments, Anderson reveals more about that night than has ever been known, adding not only depth to the involvement of Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam, who had been acquitted of the killing (making their later admission of culpability in Till's death in Look magazine all the more galling), but also showing the roles of several other key figures and incorporating the memories of witnesses and other evidence. At times, Anderson's devotion to detail can bury the reader, but historians will welcome his commitment to the story. It will become the go-to reference for scholars and those who teach the Till case in classrooms. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. --Derek Charles Catsam, University of Texas of the Permian Basin


Table of Contents

Julian Bond
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Forewordp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Prologue: Through a Glass, Darklyp. xxi
Part 1 In Black and White
1 Mother and Sonp. 5
2 Mississippi Welcomes Emmett Tillp. 22
3 Murder Heard Round the Worldp. 39
4 Countdownp. 64
5 Tallahatchie Trial, Part 1p. 85
6 Tallahatchie Trial, Part 2p. 123
7 Protests, Rumors, and Revelationsp. 166
8 Clamor, Conflict, and Another Juryp. 198
9 The LOOK Story and Its Aftermathp. 220
10 Never the Samep. 252
Part 2 In Living Color
11 Revivalp. 287
12 Seeking Justice in a New Erap. 315
13 The Legacy of Emmett Tillp. 344
Epilogue: Seeing Clearlyp. 357
Appendix: Piecing the Puzzlep. 361
Notesp. 381
Bibliographyp. 485
Indexp. 529