Trial In The Delta: The Murder of Emmett Till
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E. 56th Place
Chicago, IL 60637
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E. 56th Place
Chicago, IL 60637
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E. 56th Place
Chicago, IL 60637
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E. 56th Place
Chicago, IL 60637
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E. 56th Place
Chicago, IL 60637
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E. 56th Place
Chicago, IL 60637
Drama
Runs Feb 10Feb 19, 2023

The murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 brought national attention to the racial violence and injustice prevalent in the deep south. While on a trip from his hometown, Chicago, to visit relatives in Mississippi, Till went to the Bryant store with his cousins, and may have whistled at Carolyn Bryant, a white woman. Her husband, Roy Bryant, and brother-in-law, J.W. Milam, kidnapped and brutally murdered Till, dumping his body in the Tallahatchie River. The newspaper coverage and murder trial galvanized a generation of young African Americans to join the Civil Rights Movement out of fear that such an incident could happen to friends, family, or even themselves.

​Trial in the Delta plays like a reenactment of the actual court proceedings that played out in Sumner, Mississippi in 1955. Key characters, based on real life, include presiding judge Curtis Swango, defense attorney J. J. Breeland, district attorney Gerald Chatham, and, of course, J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, the two men who were found not guilty of murdering Emmett Till, but later admitted to the heinous crime. Actors portraying witnesses for the defense and prosecution, including Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Bradley and other family members.

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