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ERIC Number: EJ792238
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 23
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0033-5630
The "Shocking Story" of Emmett Till and the Politics of Public Confession
Tell, Dave
Quarterly Journal of Speech, v94 n2 p156-178 May 2008
In 1955, journalist William Bradford Huie interviewed Emmett Till's killers and published their confession in "Look" magazine. Titled "The Shocking Story of Approved Murder in Mississippi," Huie's tale dominated the remembrance of Emmett Till for nearly fifty years. This essay argues that the power of the "Shocking Story" to control the memory of Till's murder resides in its recourse to the "expressive confession," the distinctive power of which is a capacity to naturalize historical events and thereby constitute a master narrative of inevitability in which further rhetorical intervention seems unnecessary. So understood, the "Shocking Story" is not just one more recounting of Till's untimely death; it is also a treatise about the role of speech in the violence of the Mississippi Delta. (Contains 90 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mississippi