Kentucky Professor to Discuss Aftermath of Till Murder

Brandon M. Erby to lecture Oct. 25 in Lamar Hall

OXFORD, Miss. – The tragedy is somewhat well known. Emmett Till, 14 years old, was visiting relatives in the Delta town of Money when he was accused of harassing a white woman in a grocery store. Just days later, Till was abducted, brutally beaten and killed. Relatives of the woman were accused of the crime but acquitted.

Brandon Erby

This murder, which took place in August 1955, spurred civil rights activists and has been the subject of much research. One expert on Till will visit the University of Mississippi on Tuesday (Oct. 25) to discuss his research on the murder and what followed.

Brandon M. Erby, assistant professor of writing, rhetoric and digital studies at the University of Kentucky, will discuss “M Is for Mississippi and Mobilization: Rhetorical Acts of Resistance after the Murder of Emmett Till” at 3 p.m. in Lamar Hall, Room 129. The free lecture is hosted by the UM Department of Writing and Rhetoric. Refreshments will be served following the event.

The talk will examine how Mamie Till-Mobley’s acts of resistance were used by people in the Mississippi Delta to respond to her son’s death, mobilize others, navigate Jim Crow and pursue justice.

“I met Dr. Erby in a Rhetoric Society of America seminar two years ago,” said Stephen Monroe, chair and assistant professor of writing and rhetoric. “He is a brilliant scholar conducting important research into the rhetorical dimensions of the civil rights movement in Mississippi and beyond.”

Before earning master’s and doctoral degrees at Pennsylvania State University, Erby earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Tougaloo College in Jackson. His research interests include African American rhetoric, literacy studies, prison studies, rhetorical education, civil rights and Black power movements.