A touring exhibit now at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center is aimed at helping children understand the tragedy and legacy of Emmett Till’s life. Through photographs and artifacts, the exhibit shows how young Till’s lynching and his mother’s subsequent actions fueled the civil rights movement and how the events still ripple through America today.
DuSable Museum president and CEO Perri Irmer said the traveling exhibit, which originated at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, is a natural fit for her institution.
“Most Chicagoans know the story of Emmett Till,” Irmer said. “But I think this is the very first time that the story has been packaged for younger viewers, sort of high level about this child who was murdered and what happened after that and really the impact of Emmett’s murder on the civil rights movement and what we can do today to try to make good history going forward. We have to understand at a young age what is the result of racial hatred. If we’re ever going to learn how to act differently and treat each other differently, then we have to understand our history and where we come from. These stories of courage and deep impact are always important to tell. And even though it’s 50 years later, his murder is still relevant and we can still learn from it. And hopefully, do things better in the future.”
“Emmett Till and Mamie Mobley-Till: Let the World See” is at the DuSable Museum through July 16.