The Untold Story of Emmett Till presented by Sabira Cole Film FestivalMonday, July 13, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
On November 2, 2017 City of Asylum partnered with Sembène – The Film & Arts Festival to screen The Untold Story of Emmett Till , tonight’s screening will feature a new live post-screening discussion and audience Q&A with Herb Boyd and director Keith Beauchamp.
Streamed on The Show Must Go On(line) Pittsburgh channel. (run time: 90 minutes)
See event flyer here
Money, Mississippi in the year 1955 — Emmett Louis Till, a fourteen-year-old black Chicago youth was slain. In this documentary directed by Keith Beauchamp, a family’s agony is finally told revealing the truth surrounding the Till case by the people who were there. Emmett Till, who was visiting family in the Delta, had the great misfortune of finding out what Southern Hospitality means when two white men, Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam decided to teach him a lesson for allegedly whistling at a white woman – Bryant’s wife. Abducted, severely beaten, and finally thrown into the Tallahatchie River with a weight fastened around his neck with barbed wire, Emmett Till was murdered for one of the oldest forbidden taboos in America’s history, addressing a white woman in public. The murderers were later arrested, but were acquitted in a court of law by an all-white, all male jury. Emmett did not die in vain. The death of Emmett Till sparked the black resistance of the South, soon to become the American Civil Rights Movement.
Keith Beauchamp (born 1972) is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn who investigated the murder of Emmett Till, fifty years after Till’s death in 1955, Beauchamp’s research eventually led him to create the documentary film The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, and the reopening of the case by the United States Department of Justice in May 2004. Beauchamp first encountered the Emmett Till story at age ten while looking through an issue of Jet magazine. In 1996 he started his own research, and found microfilm of articles which listed witness who had not been questioned by police, and references to uncharged participants in the murder, besides J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, who were found not guilty of Till’s murder, but later publicly confessed. Through the help of other researchers, Beauchamp contacted witnesses, but he says that it was some years before they trusted him enough to speak on camera. Researching and creating the film took nine years.