Emmett Till’s Tragedy Remembered Through the Performing Arts

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

Many African Americans will not forget the tragedy of Emmett Till — the horrific, mutilated death he suffered due to racism. Now, the performing arts are helping to keep his memory alive. Till’s story is the inspiration for a play by James Baldwin entitled “Blues for Mister Charlie.” This play will be the open for a new professional company based at CCNY called the New Haarlem Arts Theatre.

New York Post reports, “‘Blues’ is based on the horrific, true-life case of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old from Chicago who was murdered in 1955 in Mississippi, where he reportedly had the audacity to whistle at a white woman.” New York Post adds that “while this play is no longer the urgent wake-up call it was when it debuted in 1964, theatergoers should be grateful for the chance to see a work that’s rarely been revived.”

Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.



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