Assaults On the Memory of Emmett Till; Black Students and ‘critical race theory’
You may have noticed that last week, the Race/Racism column took a hiatus. Though there’s no shortage of stories about race and racism, there are only so many hours in a day, and only so many of them that I can allocate to this roundup while still pursuing my other interests — my own writing, and as of this month, teaching.
So Race/Racism is moving to an every-other-week feature here at Momentum.
I hope you’ll continue to check us out for the stories about anti-Black racism and examples of Black excellence. Today you’ll find stories about the destruction and continual reconstruction of historical markers commemorating Emmett Till, a highway expansion that is again threatening black neighborhoods in South Carolina, and Black high schoolers speaking out about attempts to sanitize or erase lessons about America’s history of racism. And at the end, I’ve got a great suggestion for weekend entertainment — how about streaming some lesser-known highlights of Black cinema via the Black Film Archive?
Unable to erase the memory of Emmett Till’ some try to obliterate his historical markers instead
The signs marking the places associated with the 1955 racist murder of Black teenager Emmett Till have been burned with acid, riddled with bullets, and defaced with White supremacist graffiti. They’ve even been dumped in the river where his mutilated body was found. And now the marker at the site of the store where Till was accused of flirting with a white woman has been knocked over. The head of the public relations firm that made the marker thinks it was an accident — perhaps a truck backing into the sign without realizing it. But the Emmett Till Interpretive Center isn’t so sure. “We still have lots of questions,” the Center’s co-founder, Patrick Weems told The New York Times. “And we hope that local officials won’t be dismissive and ask some more questions to get to the bottom of it.” When he heard about the fate of the latest marker, he was at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with Till’s family, donating the first historical placard related to…