The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentry Narrative

The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentry Narrative

4.0 1
by Christopher Metress
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813921228

ISBN-13: 9780813921228

Pub. Date: 10/29/2002

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

At 2:00 A.M. on August 28, 1955, fourteen-year-old Emmett Till, visiting from Chicago, was abducted from his great-uncle’s cabin in Money, Mississippi, and never seen alive again. When his battered and bloated corpse floated to the surface of the Tallahatchie River three days later and two local white men were arrested for his murder, young Till’s

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Overview

At 2:00 A.M. on August 28, 1955, fourteen-year-old Emmett Till, visiting from Chicago, was abducted from his great-uncle’s cabin in Money, Mississippi, and never seen alive again. When his battered and bloated corpse floated to the surface of the Tallahatchie River three days later and two local white men were arrested for his murder, young Till’s death was primed to become the spark that set off the civil rights movement.

With a collection of more than one hundred documents spanning almost half a century, Christopher Metress retells Till’s story in a unique and daring way. Juxtaposing news accounts and investigative journalism with memoirs, poetry, and fiction, this documentary narrative not only includes material by such prominent figures as Hodding Carter, Chester Himes, Eleanor Roosevelt, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Eldridge Cleaver, Bob Dylan, John Edgar Wideman, Lewis Nordan, and Michael Eric Dyson, but it also contains several previously unpublished works—among them a newly discovered Langston Hughes poem—and a generous selection of hard-to-find documents never before collected.

Exploring the means by which historical events become part of the collective social memory, The Lynching of Emmett Till is both an anthology that tells an important story and a narrative about how we come to terms with key moments in history.

University of Virginia Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813921228
Publisher:
University of Virginia Press
Publication date:
10/29/2002
Series:
American South Series
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Shifting Grounds of History and Memory1
1Discovery and Indictment
Two White Men Charged with Kidnaping Negro14
Parents and Relatives Keep Silent in Case of Boy Charged with Ugly Remarks to Storekeeper[']s Wife15
Muddy River Gives Up Body of Brutally Slain Negro Boy16
Designed to Inflame19
Mississippi Notebook: Our State a Target for Hate Campaign22
A Lynch-Murder Aids Enemies of the South25
Blood on Their Hands25
End the Racist Conspiracy!26
Meddling in Local Case Creates Problems27
Mother's Tears Greet Son Who Died a Martyr29
Mother Waits in Vain for Her "Bo"30
50,000 Mourn at Bier of Lynched Negro Child31
"Were Never into Meanness" Says Accused Men's Mother34
Charleston Sheriff Says Body in River Wasn't Young Till36
Grand Jury Gets Case: Troops Posted in Delta as Mob Violence Feared in Aftermath to Slaying37
Lynching Post-Facto38
Bad News for NAACP40
Mississippi Notebook: Our People Have Behaved Mighty Well40
2The Trial
Jury Selection Reveals Death Demand Unlikely45
Jim Crow Press at Till Trial48
Wives Serious, Children Romp as Trial Begins50
The Baby Sitter53
Lynched Boy's Mother Sees Jurymen Picked55
Jokes, Threats Are Blended at Tension-Packed Sumner57
Grandstand Play Again59
Roman Circus60
Judge Swango Is Good Promoter for South60
Heart of Darkness62
He Went All the Way65
Uncle of Till's Identifies Pair of Men Who Abducted Chicago Negro68
Slain Boy's Uncle Identifies Bryant, Milam on Stand74
Mother, "Surprise Witness" Give Dramatic Testimony: Mamie Bradley Says Corpse Was That of Her Slain Son [part 2]75
Mother, "Surprise Witness" Give Dramatic Testimony: Mamie Bradley Says Corpse Was That of Her Slain Son [part 1]79
Mother Insulted on Witness Stand83
The Future84
Youth Puts Milam in Till Death Barn87
Judge Sends Jury Out of Courtroom during Testimony of Defendant Roy Bryant's Wife89
Mrs. Bryant Tells How Northern Negro Grabbed Her, "Wolf-Whistled" in Store92
Woman in Lynching Case Weaves Fantastic Story96
Sheriff Strider's Testimony Raises Doubt Body in River Was Till Youth97
Jury Hears Defense and Prosecution Arguments as Testimony Ends in Kidnap-Slaying Case99
Called Lynch-Murder, "Morally, Legally" Wrong101
Defendants Receive Handshakes, Kisses104
2 Face Trial as "Whistle" Kidnapers - Due to Post Bond and Go Home107
Mississippi Jungle Law Frees Slayers of Child111
3Post-Trial Reactions and Assessments
Fair Trial Was Credit to Mississippi115
Acquittal115
The Verdict at Sumner116
Letter to the Editor117
The Shame of Our Nation118
The State of Mississippi Still Carries the Burden119
Justice in Sumner120
Langston Hughes Wonders Why No Lynching Probe124
The Till Case Verdict126
What You Can Do about the Disgrace in Sumner127
A Careful, Last Look128
Double Murder in Mississippi130
Southern Style131
Press Release, Office of the Honorable Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.133
I Think the Till Jury Will Have Uneasy Conscience136
Whose Circus?137
Memo from the American Jewish Committee on European Reaction to the Till Case, 7 October 1955138
Selected Letters to the Editor: From the Washington Afro-American143
Selected Letters to the Editor: From the Baltimore Afro-American144
Selected Letters to the Editor: From the Cleveland Call and Post145
Selected Letters to the Editor: From the Memphis Commercial Appeal146
Selected Letters to the Editor: From the Atlanta Constitution151
4Searching for the Truth
James L. Hicks's "Inside Story" of the Emmet Till Trial (series from Cleveland Call and Post)
Sheriff Kept Key Witness Hid in Jail During Trial155
White Reporters Doublecrossed Probers Seeking Lost Witnesses161
The Mississippi Lynching Story: Luring Terrorized Witnesses from the Plantations Was Toughest Job168
Jimmy Hicks Tells Inside Story of Infamous Mississippi Lynch Case173
Defender Tracks Down Mystery Till "Witnesses"178
Here Is What "Too Tight" Said182
An Open Letter To U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell and FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover194
Emmett Till Is Alive199
The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi200
What's Happened to the Emmett Till Killers?208
From Time Bomb: Mississippi Exposed and the Full Story of Emmett Till213
5Memoirs
From "Mamie Bradley's Untold Story"226
From Wolf Whistle and Other Stories235
From For Us, the Living247
From Coming of Age in Mississippi250
From Soul On Ice257
From The River of No Return: The Autobiography of a Black Militant and the Life and Death of SNCC262
From My Soul's is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered264
From "On Being Black and Middle Class"265
Remembering Emmett Till266
Growing Up White in the South: An Essay270
From Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black275
From Profiles in Black Courage276
The Killing of Black Boys278
6Literary Explorations
Requiem for a Fourteen-Year-Old291
Mississippi - 1955293
The Money, Mississippi, Blues294
A Cause for Justice298
For Emmett Till301
Blood on Mississippi302
Mississippi303
A Tribute to Emmett Till309
For Moses Wright (Uncle of Emmett Louis Till)310
Promotional Flyer for "A Good Place to Raise a Boy"311
A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi, Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon313
The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till317
The Death of Emmett Till318
Note for Blues319
Till321
Afterimages323
Emmett Till328
From 1935: A Memoir333
Emmett Till and the Men Who Killed Him336
The Lovesong of Emmett Till339
Emmett Till341
Can I Write of Flowers?342
Afterword346
Index351

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The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentry Narrative 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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