Simeon Wright will be at Off Square Books to read from and sign copies of Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till.
No modern tragedy has had a greater impact on race relations in America than the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old black boy from Chicago whose body was battered beyond recognition and dumped in the Tallahatchie River while visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, in 1955. This grotesque crime became the catalyst for the civil rights movement. Simeon Wright saw and heard his cousin Emmett whistle at Caroline Bryant at a grocery store; he was sleeping in the same bed with him when her husband came in and took Emmett away; and he was at the sensational trial. Simeon’s Story tells what it was like to grow up in Mississippi in the 1940s; paints a vivid portrait of Moses Wright, Simeon’s father, a preacher who bravely testified against the killers; explains exactly what happened during Emmett’s visit to Mississippi, clearing up a number of common misperceptions; and shows how the Wright family lived in fear after the trial, and how they endured the years afterward. Simeon’s Story is the gripping coming-of-age memoir of a man who was deeply hurt by the horror of his cousin’s murder and, through prayer and hope, has come to believe that it’s now time to tell it like it was.