On August 25, 1955, Emmett Till whistled at a white woman outside a Mississippi grocery store. Three days later, the 14-year-old African-American boy from Chicago was kidnapped, tortured, murdered, and thrown into a river. For the next 50 years, there was not a single memorial to Till’s murder in the Mississippi Delta. Since 2005, however, many memorial sites have been created to tell the story of Till’s 1955 murder. Professor Dave Tell will introduce the audience to the various Till memorials and use them to explore the competing narratives of exactly what happened on the night of the murder.
Dave Tell is a professor of communication studies at KU and co-creator of the Emmett Till Memory Project. His work on Emmett Till has been recognized with a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.