Florida State University Becomes Home For Never Before Seen Emmett Till Court Case Papers
Florida State University is now the home of the most comprehensive archival collection on Emmett Till.
According to a report from the Tallahassee Democrat, the university came in possession of news clippings, government records, case files, and more in relation to Till because of Davis Houck, a Communications professor at the school. Houck spent years searching through a number of Mississippi archives and brought back his findings to the university.
“(Till’s) death and aftermath and now, memory, became the Civil Rights Movement,” said Houck.
FSU has partnered with Florida A&M University (FAMU) to make Till’s archive accessible to students and professors for classroom visits. However, researchers, the local community, and anyone else interested in Till’s story is encouraged to visit.
“There’s some folklore associated with it, so there’s a large aspect of the study of Emmett Till, or what people believe about him, that has to do with some misinformation,” Katie McCormick, the Associate Dean for Special Collections and Archives at FSU Libraries, said.
McCormick also spoke about why FSU is the home of the archive while that the university does not own “the Emmett Till story, or owns the material in the Emmett Till archives.”
“We’re not Mississippi, we’re not Chicago, we have a connection to the story but we don’t have a particular agenda in collecting or in sharing information about the Emmett Till case,” McCormick said. “It’s a very personal and volatile topic for many good reasons, but we can be caretakers, curators, facilitators for this research.”
In related news, Simeon Wright, Till’s cousin who was the last to see him alive before his death, died this year at the age of 74.