The Hip-Hop Summit
Action Network (HSAN) has joined forces with documentary filmmaker Keith Beauchamp
to shed increased light on the murder of Emmett Till and in support of Beauchamp’s
documentary film titled "The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till."
“The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till” will showcase
the life and death of the African American teen from the Southside of Chicago,
who was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for reportedly "whistling"
at a married white woman.
The death of the 14-year-old became a catalyst for the
civil rights movement, when his mutilated corpse served as a visual display
of hatred and racism during the 1950’s.
The case went to trial in 1955 and strained race relations between
African-Americans and White Americans, as the two men who kidnapped and killed
the 14-year-old were acquitted of murder. The jury claimed there was ‘lack of
proof that the horribly decomposed body identified was Till’s.
The federal government reopened the case last year and in a
bombshell revelation Saturday (July 30), the Mayor of Glendora, Mississippi
revealed that his 82-year-old father may have witnessed the murder of Till.
Glendora Mayor Johnny B. Thomas is seeking immunity for his
father from the FBI for providing information on Till’s death.
Thomas says his father denies witnessing the murder, but believes
he is lying because he fears being incarcerated.
The case became a catalyst for the civil rights movement and
has received increased notoriety as of late due to the research and subsequent
findings of Mr. Beauchamp.
Beauchamp has spent the last ten years uncovering facts and
lobbying for justice in the case. The HSAN is supporting Beauchamp in seeking
justice and urges citizens to go out and support his documentary film on the
"The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network announced today our
complete solidarity and support of noted Hip-Hop filmmaker Keith Beauchamp in
the pursuit of full justice in the case of Emmett Louis Till," stated HSAN
President and CEO Benjamin Chavis. "Due to the efforts of Keith Beauchamp,
the case has been officially reopened in order that the full truth be revealed.
Hip-Hop is about spitting truth to power. We encourage all people of goodwill
to see this film."
David Banner, a Mississippi native who is launching a line of
throwback jerseys based on Till’s death, said the announcement was touching.
“This happened less than a life time ago in my state,”
Banner told AllHipHop.com. “The fact is a child was murdered by grown
men for something as trivial as a wink or a whistle. I felt that it was mandatory
I address this atrocity, especially since I’m considered a Mississippi spokesmen.”
"The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till" will be world
premiering at the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium on August 15th
and will be hosted by the HSAN and the New York Film Forum.
The red carpet will open at 6:30pm and a screening will be held
at 7pm (invitation only).
The film will also
have a two-week engagement (Aug 17-30th) at the Film Forum West Houston Street.