Saturday, January 10, 2015


Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till CaseOn August 25, 1955, a fourteen year old Black boy was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi.  Emmett Till of Chicago was visiting his cousins when his young life was cut short.  Author Chris Crowe recounts the events leading up to the boy's death as well as the controversial trial and its effect on the then growing Civil Rights Movement.

Young Emmett set off for what he believed would be a fun vacation before school started back in Chicago.  His mother, Mississippi born, warned him to show proper respect to white people on his trip to the South.  Unfortunately, the high-spirited, humorous teen got caught up in entertaining his cousins and their friends when he made comments to an attractive, young white store clerk. 

Several days after the incident at the store, two white men arrived at Emmett's uncle's sharecropper's cabin and hauled him away.  He wasn't seen again until his mutilated body was discovered in a nearby river.

With the recent declaration to desegregated schools, the South was filled with angry white people determined that their federal government could not dictate how they should run their communities.  Much to the horror of the Black population across the country, the resulting trial of the white men who had murdered Emmett ended in a not guilty verdict.  The ripple effect of the verdict spread through the United States and fueled the movement being lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Chris Crowe presents Emmett Till's story with details and evidence collected from many sources.  Newspaper accounts, photographs, interviews, and testimony combine to reveal the grim circumstances of what followed the hasty, reckless actions of an inexperienced fourteen year old.  As Crowe mentions in the Introduction, Emmett Till's story is often left out of history books so many don't know about his part in those tumultuous times.  Given recent events involving racial issues, his story is even more important today to remind us we need to right the wrongs of our past not perpetuate the hatred.

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