COHFA | Writing Your Obsessions: Poetry and Research

Title

Covered Up & Speaking Out: The Found Objects of Emmett Till

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Sociology/Nonprofit Leadership Studies

Minor

Creative Writing: Poetry

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Carrie Jerrell

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

The kidnapping, beating and shooting of a 14 year old African American boy for whistling at a white woman, in Money, Mississippi, was the horrendous crime committed by Carolyn Bryant’s husband and his half-brother in 1955.

Ultimately becoming a national news story, this event became a contributing factor to the mass organization of the Civil Right’s Movement. Even more so when, despite evidence of their guilt, the two men were found not-guilty, further fueling the demand for justice.

Months after the crime, Look magazine published “The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi.” This printed confession of the two murderers, sparked some individuals to write the magazine’s Editor. In later years, many prominent individuals, would publicly shared their memories and impact that Emmett’s murder had on their lives.

From the confession article, Editor’s letters, shared memories, and selected pages of the original trial transcript I constructed a collection of found poetry in the form of Erasures, further exploring the emotions surrounding this tragic, but historical event. In my presentation, I will discuss the process and significance of sections from the Trial Transcript and Killer’s Confession poems within the collection, with emphasis placed on the form. Through my presentation I plan to exhibit how found poetry can re-imagine the original text to reveal a hidden element of art.

Affiliations

OTHER Affiliation

Other Affiliations

ENG 416/561

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Covered Up & Speaking Out: The Found Objects of Emmett Till

The kidnapping, beating and shooting of a 14 year old African American boy for whistling at a white woman, in Money, Mississippi, was the horrendous crime committed by Carolyn Bryant’s husband and his half-brother in 1955.

Ultimately becoming a national news story, this event became a contributing factor to the mass organization of the Civil Right’s Movement. Even more so when, despite evidence of their guilt, the two men were found not-guilty, further fueling the demand for justice.

Months after the crime, Look magazine published “The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi.” This printed confession of the two murderers, sparked some individuals to write the magazine’s Editor. In later years, many prominent individuals, would publicly shared their memories and impact that Emmett’s murder had on their lives.

From the confession article, Editor’s letters, shared memories, and selected pages of the original trial transcript I constructed a collection of found poetry in the form of Erasures, further exploring the emotions surrounding this tragic, but historical event. In my presentation, I will discuss the process and significance of sections from the Trial Transcript and Killer’s Confession poems within the collection, with emphasis placed on the form. Through my presentation I plan to exhibit how found poetry can re-imagine the original text to reveal a hidden element of art.