Author to speak May 13 about Emmett Till book

Author Dave Tell will discuss his book at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 13, at the West Wyandotte Library, 1732 N. 82nd St., Kansas City, Kansas.

One hundred copies of Tell’s book, “Remembering Emmett Till,” will be given away to the first 100 persons to arrive.

The event will include a discussion and book signing. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Tell, a professor in the University of Kansas Department of Communication Studies, is the principal investigator of the Emmett Till Memory Project.

“Remembering Emmett Till” offers accounts about the commemoration of the infamous crime, the lynching of a 14-year-old in 1955 in Mississippi. Till’s murder later became an economic driver for the Delta area, with historical tourism transforming the area where the crime took place.

Tell’s book builds a case for how these memorials have altered the Delta’s physical and cultural landscape, drawing connections between the start of the civil rights era and the present-day movement for racial justice.

“Tell has written the Emmett Till book still begging to be written. The tragedy of this case gave it a place in history books, but its place in American memory was far more complicated. Revisionist history is one thing; rewriting history is another. Tell’s argument that race and geography were at the core of that rewriting makes for a compelling and convincing read. As Tell shows, collective forgetting, willfully done, has created a new layer of tragedy to the Emmett Till story,” wrote Devery S. Anderson, author of “Emmett Till: The Murder that Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement.”

The event will run from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Monday, May 13, at the West Wyandotte Library. The West Wyandotte Library is a branch of the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library.

Tell’s book was published by the University of Chicago Press. A National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship provided resources for the writing of the book.

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