In the Name of Emmett Till: How the Children of the Mississippi Freedom Struggle Showed Us Tomorrow

NewSouth. Sept. 2021. 240p. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781588384379.
Gr 7 Up–In the Name of Emmett Till examines how the 1955 brutal torture and murder of a 14-year-old African American boy galvanized young African American kids in the South. While death by torture during the civil rights era was not uncommon for African Americans, Till’s age and the publicity surrounding his death contributed to young African American’s desires to change a society that considered their lives as disposable. SNCC and the NAACP began voting rights campaigns in the South, largely aided by young African American teens. These teens participated in door-to-door canvasing, sit-ins, walkouts, and protests. They also experienced some pushback from their own community and faced a tremendous backlash from the white residents of their towns. The stirring book is filled with the stories of young African Americans who were changed by their experience during the civil rights movement. This book is an eye-opening look at the fight for voting rights through eyes of the children who supported and fueled the civil rights movement. This engaging title is particularly relevant now, with so many states seeking to enact voting laws that restrict access to voting for marginalized communities. The courage and tenacity of spirit exhibited by Brenda Travis, June Johnson, Bob Moses, Sam Block, and countless others will resonate with readers who support civil rights.
VERDICT This title is perfect for public and school libraries that want books which will provide a young person’s perspective on the civil rights movement.

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