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Retrospective Prospects

Retrospective Prospects

(p.153) Eight Retrospective Prospects
Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press
Davis W. HouckMatthew A. GrindyKeith A. Beauchamp
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses the misconceptions about Emmett Till. It contends that the speculations surrounding Emmett Till are missing some simple facts: his actions may have been just playful adolescent boasting that need not have been taken seriously, and the over-analysis of his history and personality led the public to forget that he was just a 14-year-old child, unaware of the politics of racial relations in the South. It points out that the Mississippi press used the circumstances of Emmett Till’s abduction and murder for their own rhetorical ends, and the escalation of the murder case made the death of a simple boy into one of the precursors of the civil rights movement.

Keywords:   civil rights movement, Emmett Till, Mississippi press, racial relations, South

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