Skip to main content

tv   Preserving Emmett Tills Memory  CSPAN  November 28, 2021 4:00am-5:26am EST

4:00 am
tracks and we never slowed down predict even when businesses went virtual only power to new reality. we are built to keep you ahead. here in the greater washington d.c. area.
4:01 am
to natives and indigenous people from all of the hemisphere thate may give the respect in our gratitude for the opportunity to work and live here. can everyone see me and hear me okay like please let us know if you need anything or if there's anything we can help you with we wanted to feel at home here and embrace her hospitality and do whatever you need to do to feel comfortable, welcome and received. we are here at the nation's flagship museum and have created a new strategic plan together dedicated to becoming the most inclusive accessible relevant to sustainable historic institution in the nation. we. a just and compassionate future by preserving sharing the complexities of the past is grounded in an understanding of an abiding commitment to presenting stories that draw important connections between
4:02 am
historical and contemporary events. the exhibition we open tomorrow to the public but to you today reckoning with remembrance history and justice and the murder of emmett till looks at how and what we remember. the defaced riverside marker connects the long and painful history of the anti-black violence and its continuation into our present. it spotlights the ongoing perseverance and an efficacy of community members and individuals to have emmett's be publicly recognized and not forgotten. the constant defacement of the till marker you will see over 10 years demonstrates the contested nature of history. it challenges public commemoration and historical
4:03 am
interpretation and the ramifications that we have on our present-day society. the sign that is now in the nation's collection and we are so honored to steward for the rest of its days was shot 317 times. each bullet hole is an act of violence against national memory and the memories of young emmett. paste -- placed the till in the center of the museum and will the call flag call to demonstrate the inseparable in integral role in the american story. the second object to be in that spot since the museum opened in 1954. the location like everything else we have done was selected with the input of our incredible community partners with whom we cocreated the exhibition and
4:04 am
with whom we are so grateful. the story of anti-black violence and community organizing within american history. and so here at our opening today i'm so deeply honored to welcome all of you and especially some very special guests. the reverend "donda" emmett's husband andke dr. margot parker the last living relative who was an eyewitness in mississippi. ali gordon and his cousin with the mogley foundation and the wright widow of simeon wright.org patrick williams of the emmett till interpretive center along with memorial commission who have entrusted us to preserve and present the legacy of emmett till to the
4:05 am
country and representative tracy rosebud member of the mississippi house of representatives 30th district which includes tallahassee. working w with the mets family d the community members and co. creators allowed us to weave a comprehensive space and a layered narrative about his story in the decades of grassroots activism and organizing in mississippi and around the nation that went into it. so i'm so grateful and humbled to be with you all today. i'm grateful to have the leadership from across the smithsonian including doug hall and trim under secretary for administration joining us today and members of so many different communities the national trust and the national park service journalist writers actors and my incredible fellow colleagues. thank you to those colleagues.
4:06 am
thank you to american history staff for d their time and dedication over the years to make this moment happened today. i'm so grateful to.org nancy burkhart sanford barbour celina mary chris will some derricks met stephan fischer linda rebecca and so many more. our own wonderful atu rich brown for offices of protective services and historic management into soit many others who worked so hard in designing the beautiful exhibits conserving it and selling it and those helping us today with the event. i'm honored to work with you as the video director. it's t a pleasure to bring to te screen and not to the stage, he
4:07 am
is out of town today but he sent a very special message for all of you and other than the first african-american in the first historian and director to lead the smithsonian to 14 secretary. >> thank you for inviting me to speak today. it is deeply meaningful to be a part of this event. so much of my professional and personals perspective has been shaped by the legacy of emmett till and the courage of his e mother. when i was director of the national museum of history and culture every morning i began my day by visiting the exhibition. the strength i gathered there for mrs. till's member memory helped me get through the hardest day. her son's murder reignited the civil rights movement of the 20th century.
4:08 am
in the midst of our own personal devastation she chose to keep his casket open. she wanted the world to see what they did to her son. she refused toon let america forget. i first -- first met her in chicago and spent a fair amounth of time with her. she spoke to me about how she carried the burden of emmett's death and the meaning of this loss for nearly a year's. she wondered who would carry that word and when she was gone. i took that as a direct charge to ensure that emmett till and other victims of racial terror in violence would not be forgotten. this is what an institution of history must do, carry the weight of memory regardless how painful or difficult and a great
4:09 am
museum lies not just a commitmentnt to the memory but o use that memory to hold our country accountable. it's the promise of justice freedom and equality. anddo to learn from her and refe to let america look away. that is why today's event is so moving and why this exhibition is so significant. a historical marker will be displayed reminds us that the violence racism or artifex -- artifacts of the past. as a civil rights struggle continues these seems can help our country move forward. you seem to help our audiences remember not just the tragedy and the harm that the determination resilience and courage.
4:10 am
as a result of this event it is really part of our national heritage but it's also a local store. before a close i want to honor the strength of the tallahassee -- we remember emmett till in large part because of that community and family members who have carried this burden through the years and continue to ensure this memory will never be lost. let me extend a special thanks to amelia parker and all the members of the family and the emmett till memorial commission. i'mn honored to join you in sharing the work of that memory. lastly i want to thank all thosi involved in today's event everyone who had a hand in building the remembrance exhibition. you are making a nation better.n
4:11 am
thank you. [applause] >> i sent lonnie a text after he recorded that for us and thanked him so much on behalf of all of us. he said this work is so special and i only wish i could be with you in person. i think he's done a pretty good job bringing himself to us and he is here with us certainly in spirit and inspiration. without further ado it's an honor again to bring forth new friends, old souls and
4:12 am
incredible panelists full of our moderators for today's program. our guest of honor reference wheeler parker civil rights activist family member in eyewitness, the reverend willie williams tester of united methodist church in mississippi and cochair of the emmett till memorial commission and the spiritual heart of the emmett till memorial's work. jessie jaynes-diming emmett till commission member and civil rights tour guide was cat this history alive. germaine hampton and award-winning u.s. history teacher at west tallahassee high school recognize for his mentorship of his civil rights curriculum that lucas is on emmett's story and challenges young people to draw important conclusions and connections. we are honored that the
4:13 am
competent -- will be moderated by dave tell professor and oneou of the country's foremost scholars of emmett till and author of a book published in 1919 remembering the emmett till. dr. dave tell please come up to the stage. [applause] statement greetings everyone. can you all herere me? thank you.
4:14 am
thank you for that introduction. in one of the first conversations that some of us had leading up to this event reference wheeler parker said the sign in the bullet holes he said that sign tells the story. don't you think he's right? and this morning i have the honor, we have the honor of being here with the stewards of that story, people who as secretary bunch put it took up the charge and refuse to let the world look away. over the course of the next half-hour or so we we'll hear from each of them about what this sign of this vandalism us about the story of emmett till and the tenacity of hate and about the possibilities for reconciliation. but before turning too our panelists i want to frame
4:15 am
briefly the sign in the store itself in two ways. first i want to acknowledge it's a complex story and the story of vandalism and restoration and the story of rogue and is and healing. it's a story of a violent past with a fragile presence in the hopes of the more just future periods we start by balloting that healing and restoration are art of the story and testament to what can happen when a small group of citizens including my colleagues on the stage refused o to let brokennes have the last word because time doesn't fix itself and there's nothing inevitable about reconciliation. if you start with the murder of emmett till and others in 1955 you have to count 49 years and 11 months before the state state of mississippi dropped a single dollar on the emmett till
4:16 am
commemoration. thankfully there was a group of local citizens in tallahassee county have found this site went intolerable and i want to say their names. among others i'm thinking of robert graysonan don wilsey edde pierson willie williams jessie jaynes-diming johnny thomas and especially jerome liddle. i don't imagine that these men andme women ever dream that ther story would be told at the smithsonian. but driven by the hope that hate would not win out they organize themselves that the emmett tillr memorial commission and they raised money and they did something that had never been done before they began to tell stories of the landscape at the mississippi delta. the people you see on this stage are not only stewards of his story i also think of them as
4:17 am
people who stood in the arc of a long history of racism in vandalism and violence and began the work of bending that history back towards justice. second, the story told by an unfinished story. as a scholar of till's voir dire one of my convictions as the storyti must not be -- it's a story whose relevance grows more pressing with each passing year so i want you to think for a moment about the bullet holes, 317 b of them. they have always struck me as symbols of powerful reminders that base is still with us. layered late as they are an account of what happened did 1955 that told that old story
4:18 am
and brought it into the present. that's what sets this exhibit apart from any exhibit in the country. they get to the powerful exhibit in jackson and the powerful exhibit next next door and the one in memphis. all of those exhibits tell a story of emmett till by focusing on 1955. it's the only exhibit i know about that traces back to a source in 1955 straight to the 21st century. but those two comments as a framework let me turn to our panelists. we are going to start with reference wheeler parker. dr. parker i've say many times that if you weren't there you can't really know what happened and you were there in 1955 so if you would take us back to that moment and tell us what happened at that grocery store and at the home of moses wright wright. >> first i like to say 66 years
4:19 am
ago last saturday i was 16 years old. that morning was the morning they came and kidnapped emmett. i can remember his mother shortly before she died she wanted me to carry on the work. she came toe the center named te emmett till memorial center and she said -- coming here today is a reminder emmett did not die in vain and he still speaks. i think he has done more in his death than he would have done if he would have lived. so many things have come to pass
4:20 am
to help get rid of racism and with that i will go back and tell what happened at the store. there are so many stories that have been told and it's still mind-boggling to me that it happened in 1955. the first images we had from eyewitnesses who were in 1989. can you believe that? and then when i told my story they said wheeler parker alleged, can you imagine how painful and insulting that was? how can you do that?
4:21 am
i guess he just teaches about -- it shows you how a lie can prevail. my version of what happened i saw that eyes on the prize and i'm listening and they were telling the story. he was telling the story and he was lying through his teeth. tell me what happened at the store. he wasn't there at all. i told the teacher that's the story ourselves and that's a story i'm going to keep telling. it got so bad that he said i'm
4:22 am
going to take this and tear it into pieces and throw it into the wind. youu can't find the pieces and that's where stories prevail. and it didn't have to be done that way. later i talked to mamie till emmett till's mother and he was telling what he had heard and i don't know why they didn't ask any of us. at least if yount want the truth within 30 years you could have found some kindhi of way. so rich samuel came into the documentary in 1985 at-bats up until 30 years.
4:23 am
they said please talk about it. these people didn't live in mississippi and they were raised under these kind of conditions and they had no idea what i was talking about and you would never have ann idea. he said don't criticize me. walk a mile in my what? shoes. i remember vividly that went into the store and emmett came in. i knew you had a right. imagine living in a society that
4:24 am
you could get killed for -- i said what's wrong with these people? what is the inferiority and insecurity? they think you are looking at somebody wrong you could die and no one will help you. you couldn't call the police and you couldn't call the government you couldn't call the president. youhe couldn't call anyone, nothing was done. the fbi didn't want to get involved in the president did want to get involved at any whim in the store and i said we got all this together and i had lived in the south for eight years prior to moving to illinois so i had not forgotten and you are always taught these things to stay alive especially young boys.
4:25 am
women didn't have too much of a problem. that's how we got all these different colors. we came fromm one color and i said what happened? but anyway there's a whole other story. they said who's going to confess and i said will give strom thurmond and guys like that but anyway we have a serious problem and i have a real serious problem. in the story nothing happened. absolutely nothing. no problems. my youngest uncle was 12 and i was 14 in an absolutely nothing happened. they came to the store and they said nothing happened. they came out of the store and of course emmett is good up
4:26 am
sometimes -- not sometimes that all the time they love to make people laugh. i used to play jokes that she came out of the store and he gave a whistle. we could have fainted. we knew he had violated one of the southern mores and we headed for the car because there could be real serious trouble behind that a and of course it's dark y now we are going down this gravel road called fear road. there's a car behind us and we said man they are after us. it's like something out of the movies and my uncle sped up. he was 16 and he stopped and there wewe went. my uncle i don't know what he was thinking. he hid in the car supposedly so weus just laid down.
4:27 am
my uncle was always cool and had his own ideas. the car went right by us and we regrouped. she was just as scared as she was then. and living under those conditions and how it affects you. when you're raised in that kind of situation it does a lot to you. it affects your behavior and it affects your mind. she said this is not over. you guys are going to hear more about this. and emmett asked not to tell her grandfather so we didn't tell her grandfather. we were young. this was wednesday and thursday passed by, friday and nothing happened and we thought it was all over with now. everybody gathered from all the cities and villages in came to town and people you hadn't seen
4:28 am
for a while and one of the best times you could everr] have. the old saying in the south a white man could be white and no more. life itself. enjoy life, my goodness. things will never satisfy you. we try so hard to enjoy their lives. we do this and we do that and it has nothing to do with enjoying life. the more you have the more trouble you have. i'm a. she and that's what i start doing. let me know if you want me to stop. >> too late. >> he's said it's too late. shame on you, dave.
4:29 am
i want to have your daughter ashley talk with you. so that's what happened and of course on the way home i want to talk a bout -- but my uncle said we got home at 2:30 in the morning and i'll never forget it. like it happened yesterday. i heard them talking and they were talking about what happened at the store and i heard all the stories prior to that story. my dad slept with his gun thinking he was going to be invaded and nobody came. my uncle told me about guys getting hung down the street from his house. you heard all those stories in what happened at black people for little orf nothing. they are going to kill us.
4:30 am
being from a very religious family all i could think of was all the wrong that i had ever done and i'm getting ready to die and i'm going to. i did need a missionary, i did need a. she. i started praying and i said god if you just letom me live i'm going to do right. i thought about this man. i was in the ocean during world war ii and he's about to die but the sharks are coming straight for him. if you send the sharks either way i'm going to go home and i'll start treating my little brother right. then he said i'm going to marry a young lady and i'm going to treat her right. in was playing it in that order. god if he just let me live i'm going to correct all the wrongs and do right. shaking like a leaf on a tree here and talking. in the south when the moon is
4:31 am
shining you can't see your hand that close to your face because there's no light to reflect. and after a while i hear them coming my way. my room had the lights on and i had a pistol and i'm literally shaking like a leaf on a tree. at 16 i'm trying to live. i want to stay here and enjoy you all a little bit longer but at 16 i'm not trying to go anywhere but stay alive. they came and i closed my eyes and they didn't shoot me and they went past me because they found emmett in the third room. they roused him and he wanted to put his socks on. it was a, moment. sunday morning when you should be getting ready to go to church and this is happening to us and
4:32 am
you feel so helpless. to feel helpless like that you can't explain it and you can't put it into words. they left with him and that's the last time we saw him alive. >> thank you. thank you. reverend williams 50 years after emmett till past can you tell us about that event in your role in it and what that meant to you? >> sure. first of all it's an honor to be here on this platform and i'm just thankful that we are able to keep his legacy alive. what happened in 07 the public apology from my understanding there had never been any
4:33 am
recognition of what happened to emmett till from a public respective. people knew it about it in the community and in the state of mississippi and our community in tallahassee county it was kept silent. i grew up in that community and when i was a teenager i heard speeches because my mom grew up in tallahassee county and there wasn't anything said publicly so they were like i was just hearing bits and pieces but i thank god they gave him a vision. anyway in 07 the recognition to give a r public apology to
4:34 am
commission had been somewhat formed working with susan gresham and ole miss and they came on board. it was the voldman to the bi-racial commission and our goal was to bring it out of the darkness to visit something that needed to be not just known in tallahassee this was an american problem and what we are living in is part ofin her past but yet it's a part of our presence in their future but i will say on that day i believe that sparked something in our community when i first met you wheeler, there were three or four people in that area that they and it was powerful.
4:35 am
you guys were there and at that time i really wasn't a part of the commission. i had been asked to do the closing prayer but i do believe that they sparked a new beginning of what doing today related to emmett's death and i'm grateful we have come from 07 to where we are today. we have come a long way because when i began to be a part of the emmett till commission we didn't even have a bank account. nothing. but the point is i'm grateful that our community had the courage and i'm thankful for
4:36 am
jerome. he was her first african-american elected supervisor who laid the groundwork to even become an elected official. we owe a lot to jerome and we are grateful for his vision continuing on and we are grateful for our executive director who is with us today. i don't know what your patrick you came on but i will say our goal is to try to keep this dream alive and especially in our own community but it's more than a community issue. so we are grateful just to be a part of what's going on today and i'm just grateful to be cochair of the commission now. i have so much hope. i believe there needs to be a
4:37 am
redemptive aspect with the pain and the suffering. i was reading something the doctor king said about forgiveness. he said forgiveness is a permanent attitude and went have to learn. forgiving doesn't mean forgiving and i think as a nation we have come a long way but we still have a long ways to go. i believe we can get there if we continue to do what we are doing and to shine the light and the most darkest places and i believe this work will continue on. i'm just grateful to be a small part of it. >> you were there at the
4:38 am
beginning jessie a couple of years ago and i want to transition over in talk about is sign a little bit. you've been giving a lot of tours. a couple of years ago you told npr that there was a lot of pushback in your community to the formation of the commission, to tell his story and i'm lwondering if you can talk a little bit about why it's important for you and why it's important for the community to keep putting up the signs and to keep telling the till story. >> i started this journey by jerome liddle. i came on board in 2005. i am married to jerome's longtime friend. they were individuals that got in trouble together.
4:39 am
the little sunday demings were not called liberals. they were all called deming's. during my travels in bringing my husband back home to see his family i was introduced to jerome and jerome was the type of verse and that had so many goals and aspirations and he just draws you in. our conversations which we had many weather was 12:00 at night or 2:00 inin the morning or 9:00 at night, jerome would reach out and jerome told me that he went into the service. he was a marine and while he was
4:40 am
overseeing the conversation came up about emmett and from that and i will try to shorten it a little bit. a from that he became aware of that and he didn't know his own local history so he created a -- an and first of all he wanted to offer an apology to mamie till ando the family. that started my journey because he came to chicago to meet the family and it was always his dream and his passion to express the words for not being in the dark and to shed light on the emmett till story. he wanted to do so much more and
4:41 am
that was produced because we are sitting here today. he said i need you to serve on the commission with me. what you talking about? so here i am today and he is with us. he saw so much injustice about the death of emmett that he wanted to be nationally recognized. he had dreams and aspirations of becoming a national park service destination. it was because of his journey. heif struggled to become eventually president. he grew up in that mississippi
4:42 am
atmosphere. i'm a chicago person. i moved to mississippi. that was my life path to be there with him. we p had a meeting scheduled ani said what am i going to do? i'm not able to come. i'm still standing for his legacy andfo for jerome's legacy because if it had not been for him wanting to do this for his children and for generations of children to understand the plight that got us here today because i've heard so many stories about how
4:43 am
african-americans were allowed the women were not allowed to wear lipstick and we could look a white man in the face and all of that. i grew up in chicago and i was always aware of emmett's story because i want to say we but it never died. because of the magazine it never got pushed back. so it's important that the world saw what happened to mamie till's child. it is a kinship to her, emmett's mother and the legacy that she showed is something that many of us tune into and support.
4:44 am
some days it gets a little hard and from that i will move on. i just wanted to give you guys a little peak into how we got here today and how we got here today. he found out something about his own backyard and from that we have moved to the smithsonian. how often is that? and to me he was the originator of reconciliation because he would always talk about i can't do everything but i will surround myself and that's how i got to be here and that's how patrick got to be here or he always surroundedo himself with people that could get him to the
4:45 am
next and he understood u that. the mission originally was all african-american. read the winter and susan klitzman organized us until we became a balanced organization and that's why we have made the strides that we have made around reconciliation and around the emmett till project. when we were developing the signs and the trail, when we were developing that it was very important that we be true to history. that's how the signs were developed and that's how they were identified and this was not an overnight project and we are still not true.
4:46 am
the river road sign has become one of the most momentous signs and the place itself is very sacred. when you walk through those things banks you can feel the significance of that sign. we put up our first sign and we put up all of our signed and we put the first sign their. the night that obama was elected as president, that sign disappeared. the polls and everything. jed magazine and some of the other news media, they covered the disappearance of that sign.
4:47 am
30 days later the board of supervisors met and at that meeting the room could not hold the people that were there. they ran the article and jerome's words came off the page and he was asked why did he s think that the sign was vandalized and he said because a black man was elect did as president of the united states. 30 days later the room was filled to the brim with individuals wanting him to resign because he had said that. in the local paper there was an editorial page that said shame on him for saying that.
4:48 am
but he told them at that meeting, i will resign as president of board of supervisors but i will not resign as the supervisor because my constituents put me here. to no jerome was to love him. jerome was a big called black men that didn't mind getting into anybody's face. jerome was known for pushing tables across the room, okay? he had this not squeaky voice but it was a unique voice that when he was screaming he was not as loud as i am. but he had a presence about him and i talk all the time about that and i think that was the
4:49 am
life path. okay so we replace that sign and that sign is the sign that is now displayed in the smithsonian which is an honor and privilege. i'm going to tell a little bit about myself. i was not welcoming to releasing their history because i felt like that was our history but nancy and simone, something happened. you have it and i'm entrusting it to you all to preserve the history and you guys are doing an awesome job with that. it came out that i think it was
4:50 am
her teach for america, people came down for teach for america and they put the sign on facebook. as a result of that i think it did two or three years to find out exactly who did it and why it was done. then we did a dedication and we put up another sign. you remember that one, right? three weeks later i did it to her out there and that sign was shattered. so the sign has an interesting history, i will put it that way. after that, after he put up a
4:51 am
bulletproof sign, after we put up bulletproof signs we had a group of individual the head a rally and wanted to know where the -- were. make sense of that. i have always felt like because we did tours and we would go there to that location even to -- we used to get a lot of resistance. he emmett till u commission when it was first being born we had african-americans and whites saying why are you all bringing this up? i didn't have anything to do with that you know. why don't you all let sleeping dogs lie but those days are over with because these individuals
4:52 am
here, that's what happened to them. they were not told, they were just warned. a lot of parents took their young men out of the area in fear of what might happen to them. but because of mamie till and her strength had to tell her child story and it's an honor to be sitting here today. so now we have the bulletproof sign and we are so honored to be here in the smithsonian and we are looking forward to it being a permanent exhibit. we are looking forward to having national parks recognize us and
4:53 am
recognize, because the story of emmett is still happening. the mindset of individuals are e still out there but we are saying no more and stop. we are all just human. and don't be mad at me because i'm a little browner than you and i won't be mad at you because you are a little than me. one day we will get past this and i want my children, my grandchildren, my children's children ton' understand how we got here today. >> thank you.
4:54 am
i want to make sure you guys know what you are looking at when we go up stairs. the sign was at the bottom of the tallahatchie river where his body was a treat from the river. the first sign was stolen thrown into the river and recovered in. the second one that's on display upstairs had rented 13 bulletholes but it was taken down in 2016 after the publicity that jesse talked about. that sign lasted 35 days before was taken down in an 2019 the commission dedicated the bulletproof sign. mr. hampton teaches high school social studies about five miles from that sign. tell us what it's like, the till
4:55 am
story in that context and particularly tell us about how you helped your students connect the stories of 1955 to them today. >> good morning everyone. not good morning but that afternoon. it's truly an honor to be an educator. especially history of decatur. this is a significant area of the civil rights movement in the country. i think oftentimes my students and community members underestimate the importance of the air in terms of what the story surrounded what happened to emmett did. i believe students should be given a platform in reference to the story of emmett till and
4:56 am
what's happening in the community now and efforts to improve racial reconciliation areas but i think patrick and dan did a tremendous job for our constituents in tallahassee county in my students have had an opportunity this past summer to participate in a filmmakers workshop and i'm hoping in spite of covid going on right now in our schools and being virtual hopefully we can return in person next week. i am hoping for students to be able to create a documentary surrounding emmett till and the connection to mount by you and also adding fannie lou hamer entered the discussion. this is not just going to be a
4:57 am
historical look but also modern day look as was mentioned to the effort to raise reconciliation and economic problems that exist today and giving the students an opportunity to share their voice. >> thank you. >> i want to come back to you dr. parker. what does it mean toit you? you have been on a long journey what does it mean to you to have the sign at the smithsonian and the national museum of american history? >> blue you were going to put it everywhere. we can't forget that we do forget and by me coming here it inspired me.
4:58 am
i'm 82 years old. i'm going to go back home and i'm going to do some more. i'm praying somebody would do this. i saw all those people that had the fire in their to work for freedom and the price they paid. believe me our committee and their children know the story. the signs in bringing people to see it, we need to do it. we have no, what can i say i'm going to go back because when you see the sign it speaks volumes and you see all the displays we have. his mother asked me personally to carry on the legacy.
4:59 am
at 16 and 22 years old i always said that's when i committed myself to god. we are put here to serve. i'm the happiest man in the world. i learned how to serve. >> thank you. reverend williams what does it mean to you to have the sign here? >> i think what it means to me is that i think it's very important that we know our history. history should not paralyze you. when you look at our history should not paralyze you at this
5:00 am
time are in the future but i think it's a learning tool because history we learn from it because we don't want to repeat history. we learn from it and we moved and continue to evolve. .. of love, sacrifice but we all have to be willing >> the sacrifice and so i think that will keep you going. >> it reminds me back in 2007, event when the commission incited the parkers and other family members, the county in the first thing they said in the first sentence out of thef mouh was cleaning reconciliation are telling the and they been doing that now for 14 or 15 years and you can see that it work. and we have time for questions
5:01 am
from the audience and so i am told there will be people with a microphone and simply stand up and make yourself visible and we welcome all sorts of questions, whatever questions you may have. >> if it ise okay, simeon, onef the greatest speakers of the commission for the health family before he passed on, his wife is here i would like for her to stand. [applause] >> she does what she can and we just thank god for her husband and people like simeon and, their one-of-a-kind. so we thank god for them.
5:02 am
>> good afternoon, my name is hazel and amanda guarantee for the type newswire and i also teach it howard university multicultural media history my question is this, as as i was listening to you all, i remember a history lesson about the shot that was heard all around the world, the revolutionary war. emmett till, could've gave the whistle that was heard all of grant world and we know what happened after the revolutionary war because he reset, and i would like to know where we go from here and what each of you would like to see come from what happened to her little brother
5:03 am
emmett till. what do you see in the future. >> is this directed to anyone. >> anyone of us respond printed. >> i would just respond in the context of first of all, that is life or his death was not in vain and primarily, he was 14 years old and he not even begin to live and what happened to him just did not have anything to do with law enforcement or he was not committing a crime. in his life was snuffed away from him. that was the epitome of
5:04 am
injustice, his soul lost we don't never want that to happen again. and so keeping this in the present, i feel it's so important that not just for black folks, people. we want to continue to hold up that banner and not only that but to also celebrate those things that we should celebrate as they relate to growing the moving and creating against the space and people can begin to heal from the pain and the hurt. i believe in telling the truth and keeping his story legacy life. and to continue to heal the process printed. >> maybe you can help us with his family and.
5:05 am
[applause] [inaudible]. >> what i get out of this the most, is that somewhere out there, but the young people will follow inow our footsteps, they will aspire or put a fire in the belly that somebody that thinks that someone else does not deserve to live and to walk their life path and that it will make a difference with them. the most important thing is that all of us here have done. in each one of you here today, is to stand. and the thing is to stand and to
5:06 am
me the following is to go back in time. and not to move forward. and that the legacy that we have created here today and with each one of our lives is still moving forward and maybe one day, we will get to that point where the stories are inspirational, and easy to carry. somebody else's making that difficult. >> i have one more question in the back predict. >> i'm a journalist and taught journalism and limit very interested in history. [inaudible]. and when emmett till, i saw a
5:07 am
picture and and i was 17 years old. i always told o everyone i telly students that was my wake-up call. for me, although i grew up in alabama, we were like in a county that were 90 percent of black. since a little bit different than living somewhere like in mississippi you remember the my father when i was 13 and he was in the military, and we had to drive from texas to back to alabama. my father planned it that we would not be in michigan. as night on that driving back. and we had just come back from germany in june or july 1955, and people were lynched.
5:08 am
so i would like to know about teaching them believe that teaching the history, we spent a lot of time trying to get the rypublic school system to teach our history and i think the blacks and i think i would like to get your response of black sororities, fraternities, icorganizations, churches, they should make the teaching of black history apart of their agenda. >> amen brother. that is a hard hard sale. i don't know why we don't tell our story. they t tried to stop the juice from telling the horrible story. we don't care what they say, we are going to give it before unity don't, you're going to forget it and for some reason, i
5:09 am
don't know if we were ashamed of it there we didn't want to talk about it in i the south, was something happened to come with you would talk about happened. i tried in my little town, on the south side of chicago, certain nights that you would do this in the turnout was horrible. i brought food. and for some reason, my experience was that this is what is going to take to tell the story. i'm a pastor, and i say that we are the problem. we go to church more than we go air anywhere and we just don't have that fire in the belly to tell the story.
5:10 am
and there's so much that i learned about this and i should've learnedif this early d i didn't learn anything in school about black history, nada. and i learned a couple of things about george washington and couple things about the human that is all i learned. the cotton pickers and something to make you feel inferior all the time in a shame on africa and went to africa my wife was of their crying and i just not could believe it is like i am in chicago in kenya. so we've got to tell the story were going to holland. so i don't know how we can do it but we need to do better than what were doing. his story, wrote trying to do civil rights, just think who got
5:11 am
killed earlier, was it george lee and then the year before, before trying to integrate or do what should've been done, and they have no recognition and so is of the first to get killed in the long shot. he still speaks ms. parks told us she would not give up her seat t because in the ironic thg is - already. so i don't know, i am open and the professors are here. they say they're going to help us. and i applaud you and we need to do something. all that can be done up by us. >> yes, i think that within the
5:12 am
school system itself, my curriculum in the u.s.y history teacher for grade level, there's major civil rights component and so it is my responsibility to teach that standard to my students and it will be a total travesty toal not teach the history given the you know, an event that changed the nation. in the triumph and there is a national effort to the teaching of civil rights content. there is a lot of controversial, this so-called critical race theory. i just view it aseo telling the truth as to what happened rated then as educators, we have to be brave to tell it.
5:13 am
soon i think it will said pretty. >> one more question i see had in the back and perhaps we have more than one if you have questions, one more, were going to be around so feel free to approach us and ask questions informally afterwards pretty. >> good afternoon, i work with the county parks and recreation. in working different parks in dc and i'm also service commissioner the maryland lynched lynching commission and is so this panel has incredible and what were really grappling with right now is get ready to plan public hearings throughout the state of maryland starting early in two weeks in october allocating the county and we are going to be doing them all across the counties will be of documented lynchings. mr. also on the subcommittee for the reconciliation of can
5:14 am
justice commence had what i wanted to hear from the palace work failure grappling with reconciliation because we struggled with treatment using that word because inspired that you need to be quiet about this terrific act so i would like to hear from you all about how have you been dealing with reconciliation and justice and the wonderful work you do them familiar with racial reconciliation participating programs i know that you do great work i would love to hear from you all on the stage two has what you have been up to. >> let me just speak to the context of when you use the work reconciliation, has a lot to do with the products is unity ysuffused reconciliation from horizontal perspective, one
5:15 am
human to another human but a person of faith, i see the reconciliation in more than one dimension. so the most important thing to me as a man of faith is reconciled to god. and it doesn't mean that we can . from a human perspective reconciled to one another as aon relates to doing things together and men those broken pieces when we can work together so don't think anything is to be perfect for you and i to try to move forward for common cause. i don't think that we should you know, put one in say it if we can do this, but you have to work at it and i think that even
5:16 am
in our world, 18 people on commission in nine african-american men and caucasian but we build tirelationships. so we are learning and we are growing together so it takes time. it is not a program printed it is a relation ship so you have folks who live in same house house and they can get along. [laughter] says no magic to this. and i don't know when i answered your question about trying to expand the context of the we just have to continue the work in you work with people and some people wanted that is okay as well pretty. >> i think that maybe, she was speaking and i don't know where she was, on a reconciliation program and adjust for her for the first time ever the other day and she was talking about
5:17 am
forgiving braided some people thank you soeo supposed to hate how can you not hate pretty i can afford the luxury of it and it didn't destroys the heater and it controls your life and i said forgive them. and i cannot nothing against them, the reconciliation are supposed to yield and we have a hate and want to talk about the history and this is not pretty but the relationship often we talk about this and explain it .i think we have to start with forgiving and people find that hard in my case for me to say that i forgive people who have done things in his mother said we family people main they're not happy at all with us.
5:18 am
as a reconciliation, like you said it's a relationship and forget. you have to kiss everybody but you can't have the animosity and hate towards anyone, that's not really because when you hate, you disturbed your symptom system is disturbed. in the commission is doing and patrick and you all that you're doing, i think i it helps bringa group that they are doing great work and under different aliases working together think we see it because a lot of work and you need to be, it shouldn't be afraid to speak out pretty and i say this i don't like to use this term but these hundred being caucasian or white, the worst thing can happen to you
5:19 am
like to say this but is that you are a bigger lover so it is hard for you to reach out. spirit difficult printed name saying that, and i am 82 years old not be here long time and it is a very challenging to reach out and see white people is equally as you do, that is hard challenging hard sale i like to share that and it's a learning process and it takes time. sometimes husband and wife stay angry a whole week pretty and some angry a whole month pretty but you just have to work on it, work on it. and with thet. help of god to do it.
5:20 am
it's a very good question is something that needs worked on. >> we all all join me in thanking these four panelists. [applause] [applause] >> thank you so much damon into each of our panelists for such a powerfull. panel. we will now move together on the second floor the museum to view and take an as we have hopefully created some beautiful words in the space and keep the story of this going on and stand for something to fill the gap and carry together the weight of history. as we build coalitions of the
5:21 am
willing and as we teach an unvarnished past and experience with us in recommending the members in the history is justice in the murder of emmett till. we have staff members on either side of this to help direct you upstairs.it it started out trying to maintain some distance. supernovae families and loved ones as we move upstairs. and thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for being here today and for bearing witness and for remembering together and thank you. [applause] >> weekends on "c-span2" are an intellectual feast, every saturday american history to be documents america's stories had a sunday, book tv you the latest nonfiction books and authors
5:22 am
predict funding for "c-span2" comes from these television companies more, including but by brought it under prevents. a ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ buckeye on the bed along these television companies support "c-span2" is a public service. how did they win this boat in a virtual discussion with the u.s. capitol historical society this and robin rebecca bronze robbers heirs of two prominent political families explain the tactics in a play, your guide to changing the world. >> the first think that she doesn't get this idea of a parade down pennsylvania avenue, celebratory parade read i'm sure you've seen this picture but
5:23 am
this idea of taking a cause, and march on washington. that was the best idea. and it's also common that we just think of it as a traffic headache but it was never been done before in this like the idea of a march through the corridors of the central washington it from the legislative branch of the executive branch and that was her idea and in 1913 read, which i will talk about at great length since giving us an opportunity some going to restrain myself because we have a lot to cover today. did not go at all as planned so again an event those planned out to last minute but his massive crowd and walks up pennsylvania avenue pretty this is about 13th street you can see the capitol the background a large billing in the right and the post office and trump tower and it's really got wide sidewalks
5:24 am
pretty these are men and they were there for the wood rural wilson inauguration in the behaved badly, the blocked the street this with the women please do nothing in some cases the police joined in the name-calling the spitting but again see this image now, this is the march for our lives in the wake of the shooting and now this is a friendly crowded but this is the same picture 100 years later so once we start seeing these parallels, cannot count on seeing them. another big one for the white house, no one had ever done this before 1917, this was the national women's party idea snuggling picketing the white house incredibly common, semi-
5:25 am
black lives matter protesters that they were adding the time to this end but also, are these women doing it, they're making them message go viral, this 1917 similarity to a tweet, she reaches the people who were standing in front of the white house in from of lafayette square but a meet and reaches many more people in the picture in the newspaper that is wiped that manner is on it really easy to against a white background. >> watch the full program and thousands more at cspan.org/history. >> welcome to uncommon knowledge, peter robinson and today a conversation host for the ronald reagan instituted a moment jamie fly will join me and talking about the june 12, 1987 "ar

14 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on