TRIAL IN THE DELTA:
THE MURDER OF EMMETT TILL
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. Actors portraying witnesses for the defense and prosecution, including Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till and uncle Moses Wright, deliver deeply emotional and biting testimonies. Other 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.
Trial In The Delta will run around 2 hours with an intermission.
Join us at The DuSable for the fully produced version of Trial in the Delta–running Feb. 9-19, 2023 at The DuSable Black History Museum & Education Center.
$55 (General Admission)
$50 (Group Tickets)
$30 (for CollaborActivists, DuSable members, & school groups)
The production will be an immersive reenactment of the actual courtroom setting with the audience and actors co-mingled in the house.
As a result, Trial in the Delta promises to be a new, more authentic account of one of the most monumental injustices of the U.S. legal system in the 20th century.
Run time is approximately 2 hours and will be followed by a Crucial Conversation with the audience. The reading will be filmed with multiple cameras for a corresponding video project.
We partnered with Marion Brooks of NBC 5 Chicago to film the adaptation at NBC Chicago earlier this year, as a part of Brooks' documentary, "The Lost Story of Emmett Till: Trial In The Delta."
You can watch the Emmy-nominated documentary on NBC Chicago's website (below) and Peacock!
FROM THE STAGED READING (FEB. 2022)
credit: Joel Maisonet
“This is the most healing form of activism that I have seen in my life. This is the future. This is all of our future. This is the future of Chicago's talent."
– GQ of The Q Brothers