Emmett Till Murder Explored Via World of Genocide Conference

World Without Genocide at William Mitchell College of Law and Penumbra Theatre will sponsor a workshop examining key issues for African Americans since the murder of a black teenager by two white men in Mississippi inspired the Civil Rights movement nearly 60 years ago.
Funeral of Emmett Till“The Murder of Emmett Till: Beyond the Legacy” will be held from 4 to 7 pm Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Penumbra Theatre (270 North Kent St) and will be followed by a performance of The Ballad of Emmett Till at 7:30 pm.
In the summer of 1955 in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, Emmett Till, a black teen-ager visiting from Chicago, was brutally killed by two white men for ‘flirting’ with a white woman.  The two men accused of his murder were tried and acquitted.  They subsequently confessed once they could no longer be convicted of the crime.
The case became the impetus for the Civil Rights movement, inspiring Rosa Parks and the bus boycott, the integration of Little Rock Central High School, the passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, and Mississippi Freedom Summer’s 1964 voter registration drive.
Emmett Till’s legacy has become part of America’s consciousness and conscience about civil rights.
Presenters at the workshop will include:
  • Dr. Keith Mayes, professor of African American and African studies at the University of Minnesota speaking on African-American policy and civil rights
  • Nekima Levy-Pounds, law professor at the University of St. Thomas, on civil rights law in the past 60 years
  • Sarah Bellamy, associate artistic director at Penumbra Theatre, on art and social justice
  • Sarah Walker, public policy leader, on the legacy from Emmitt Till to Trayvon Martin
  • Dr. Ellen Kennedy, World Without Genocide at William Mitchell College of Law, on efforts to have the treatment of African Americans declared ‘genocide.’
Co-sponsors are the William Mitchell College of Law Office of Multicultural Affairs, Minneapolis Public Schools Office of Equity & Diversity, and the St. Paul Department of Human Rights.
The workshop is open to the public. Registration is required by Jan. 24  Fees are $40 for adults, $25 for students, and $80 for lawyers (2.5 Elimination of Bias CLE credits pending); this includes the workshop, dinner, and ticket to the performance.  Limited student scholarships are available; contact