Campus Y, the Black Student Movement and Carolina Women’s Center
worked together to bring this show to campus as part of MLK Celebration Week.
The show was originally scheduled for Jan. 24, the last day of
MLK Celebration Week, but was rescheduled due to snow.
Following the show, playwright Mike Wiley will lead a discussion during a reception with refreshments.
Megan Stanley, a member representing the Black Student
Movement, said she hopes this show will spark discussions on campus about the
discrimination African Americans still face today.
“There is very much a criminogenic gaze upon those people,” Stanley said. “Allegedly
whistling at a white woman in a black body is what caused (Emmett Till’s) death, and even today black bodies really aren’t valued as much.”
Princess Onuorah, a Campus Y first-year member at large, said she thinks it’s important for people everywhere to hear about this story
because many young people of color are murdered while their
killers do not face consequences.
“We can’t just sit and watch things like this keep on repeating
themselves, because this is to show people that history is very much intertwined
with what’s happening today," she said. "The script hasn’t changed.”
Onuorah and Wiley both compared Trayvon Martin’s killing to Emmett Till’s killing because their killers were never convicted.
Kyra Rubin, another FMAL, said Campus Y is covering the
cost of Wiley’s appearance using a fund set aside for MLK
Celebration Week. Stanley said they wanted to make the event free so that
anyone interested would be able to attend.
“This is one of the messages that we really want to be as
easily accessible to students as possible,” Rubin said.
First-year Psalms White said she is interested in
seeing the show. She remembers hearing the story from her mother when she was
12 and took it upon herself to research his story. She saw the picture of
how mutilated Till was and had nightmares for months.
She said the injustice Till faced is still relevant today.
“Even though the evidence weighed in his favor, he didn’t
find justice and you can kind of see that correlation even though not to that
same scale, but in a lot of the current events that are happening today with
police brutality and African Americans being killed,” White said.
She also stressed the importance of students attending the
“I feel like you can’t even really understand the entirety
of the civil rights movement without understanding the impact that event made.”