Menu

Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 28, 2017.  The Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries is pleased to host author and former UW-Madison faculty member, Tim Tyson, as the speaker for its Annual Schewe Lecture.

The recent events in Charlottesville and elsewhere continue to demonstrate that we have much to learn from our historians regarding the uphill battle endured by the people of color in this nation. Tyson will discuss his most recent book, The Blood of Emmett Till, which is a detailed account of the events surrounding the young boy’s death.

“Friends Board members, including former colleagues of Tim Tyson’s, know him as a scrupulous researcher and excellent historian,” said Friends President Michael Chaim. “We think that his recent book on the Emmett Till tragedy is an important contribution to US and Civil Rights history, and very much wanted to host him for a presentation on the UW-Madison campus.”

In spite of Supreme Court rulings to the contrary, during the middle 1950’s much of the South held fast to their Jim Crow traditions, barring black citizens from registering to vote and enforcing segregation in public schools, retail establishments, and restrooms. Days after 14-year-old Emmitt Till was considered to have flirted with a white store clerk in Mississippi, the youth was abducted, brutally beaten, and killed in retaliation. Emmett Till’s mother chose to lay his casket wide open during his funeral, and photos of the mutilated child served as a catalyst to fuel the next phase of the civil rights movement.

Emmett Till’s story and the surrounding issues of discrimination, law enforcement, and civil rights continue to resonate in the wake of Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, and Madison’s own Tony Robinson. Tyson’s work brings focus to these issues.

The lecture will take place at the Wisconsin Historical Society auditorium at 5:00 P.M. It is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will be held at 6:00 P.M., at the University Club. Registration is required for the reception (Click here for Tyson Reception). For more information, visit: library.wisc.edu/friends.