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ERIC Number: EJ763133
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Feb-23
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
A Dishonorable Killing
Lum, Lydia
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v23 n1 p32-34 Feb 2006
The brutal slaying in 1955 of Emmett Till by at least two White Southerners shocked and outraged the country. Published photos of the Black teenager's mutilated body on the covers of Jet and The Chicago Defender galvanized the civil rights movement, especially in the South. A sadly similar crime in Hawaii 23 years earlier also led residents of that state to unite and demand social change. Like Till, 22-year-old Joe Kahahawai was murdered by angry Whites. But there is at least one stark difference between the two cases. Till's story has been seared into the American consciousness, while Kahahawai's name is not even familiar to most history faculty outside Hawaii, much less to the general public. In this article, the author revisits the story of Joe Kahahawai, showing how his death, like Emmett Till's, illuminated the sharp racial divide of the time: a White woman's uncorroborated accusation that she was raped by non-White men, a vigilante kidnapping, a murder and two sensational trials that drew worldwide media attention. But while the Till case was recently re-opened, there is no chance of additional justice for Kahahawai. His case is closed and nearly forgotten, and the defendants are all deceased.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii