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The State of Things

‘The Blood Of Emmett Till’ Examines The Murder That Sparked A Civil Rights Movement

An image of the book cover for 'The Blood of Emmett Till'
Simon & Schuster

In 1955, a group of white men in the Mississippi Delta kidnapped and murdered a young boy named Emmett Till. Till was 14 years old from and was visiting relatives in Mississippi. News of the tragedy spread as Till’s murder helped spark the modern civil rights movement.

In his new book “The Blood of Emmett Till” (Simon & Schuster/2017), writer Tim Tyson examines race relations in Chicago and the Mississippi Delta in the 20th century and how this case became an international story. Using oral histories from people like Mamie Till-Mobley, Emmett Till’s mother, and the only interview ever given by Carolyn Bryant, a witness in the case, Tyson demonstrates the importance of Emmett Till’s story today.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Tyson about interviewing Bryant and the legacy of Till as an icon. Tyson is also Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Note: this segment is a rebroadcast which originally aired 2/1/17.


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