BLACC holds screening of “Till” and panel for discussion afterwards

Sara Segil

Black Leadership Awareness and Culture Club (BLACC) sponsored a screening of the new film “Till” Nov. 6. Till is a biographical film about Mamie Till-Mobley’s social justice work following the murder of her son Emmett in 1955.

Emmett Till was 14 years old when Mississippi grocery store cashier Carolyn Bryant perceived him to be flirting with her. Carolyn’s step-brother and husband, who were both white, abducted and lynched Till the following day. 

Following Emmett Till’s death, Mamie Till helped spread his story during the Civil Rights Movement. She went on a public speaking tour with NAACP across the nation and spent 23 years as a public school teacher in Chicago. In addition, Mamie Till created the “Emmett Till Players,” a theatre group that worked with children.

BLACC member Hannah Messaye ’23 said the screening was a valuable opportunity to learn about the lynching and resulting political activism.

“[The] event was an amazing outlet for sharing love, expanding knowledge and gaining tools to help build better and more connected communities,” Messaye said.

After the event, BLACC members spoke on a panel to share their feelings about the movie. BLACC Advisor and History Teacher Erik Wade, who moderated the Q&A session, said the film was important to watch.

“The main themes I developed after watching the film a few days prior to the event were race, place, family and justice,” Wade said. “This helped to frame the conversation with the panel and the greater audience, even making connections to HW. Whether or not justice and equity were achievable within HW was a key question students and attendees reckoned with.”

BLACC member Isiuwa Odiase ’24, who spoke on the panel said sharing her feelings was a very emotional experience.

“Being one of the people sitting on it, I heard so many heart-wrenching experiences from so many that felt vulnerable and brave enough to speak on it to the audience after witnessing this painful film,” Odiase said. “Overall, this movie was filled with life changing messages, and it really reminded us never to forgot the tragedies of African Americans in America.”