Day - Untold Story of Emmett Till
"The Untold Story of Emmett Till" is preceded by the dramatic short film, NEXT TUESDAY, by Mike Dennis (Mike D.). A father attempting to get his life together and reconcile his past reaches out to his estranged son. But things are not so simple, and both father and son must deal with the reality that what we wish for is seldom what we get.
In August of 1955, Mamie Till sent her 14 year-old son, Emmett, to visit relatives in Mississippi. Raised in Chicago, far from the repressive social structure of the South, the boy was unaware that he had made an unforgivable mistake when he reportedly whistled at a white girl he found attractive.
The lynching party which came for the young lad in the middle of the night left his body utterly unrecognizable. Back then, due to America's racist legal system, blacks had no recourse against this sort of terroristic intimidation. And so the murderers got off scot-free, after an all-white jury found them not guilty after brief deliberations. The defendant even bragged about their exploits in a Look Magazine interview where they blamed Till for not knowing his place.
For about a half century, the case remained dormant, primarily because of the Constitutional protection against Double Jeopardy, being tried twice for the same crime. However, in recent years, the Feds have started hauling acquitted perpetrators back into court to charge them with separate Civil Rights violations.
Now, filmmaker Keith Beauchamp has successfully embarrassed the Feds into re-opening the case. For in researching and conducting interviews for his damning documentary, The Untold Story of Emmett Till, he managed to coax several critical eyewitnesses, previously too afraid of reprisals to talk, to describe for his camera exactly what had transpired on the night in question.
The film also features some sweet moments of reflection by the late Mamie Till (who herself passed away in January of 2003) during which she wistfully reminisces about the intelligent, curious and animated son taken away from her so brutally and so senselessly. And the ubiquitous Reverend Al Sharpton is also in the house, here, eloquently putting Emmett Till in proper political perspective.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center
104 17th Ave South
Seattle, WA 98144
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|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|