Emmett Till’s cousin reveals truths about the landmark case in civil rights history

Rev. Wheeler Parker, Jr. shares book filled with never-before-seen findings in the Till case

Memphis, TN, Sept. 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rev. Wheeler Parker, Jr., the first cousin of Emmett Till and last surviving witness to his abduction, will be featured at the National Civil Rights Museum to discuss his book, A Few Days Full of Trouble: Revelations on the Journey to Justice for My Cousin and Best Friend, Emmett Till.  The hybrid event is part of the museum’s Book & Author Series on Wednesday, October 4, at 6:00 pm Central. Parker joins co-author Christopher Benson in the poignant recollection of a story that continues to intrigue civil rights justice seekers and criminal cold case enthusiasts.

In 1955, fourteen-year-old Emmett Till of Chicago was lynched in Neshoba County, Mississippi while visiting family. The case ignited a flame within the Civil Rights Movement that has yet to be extinguished. The details surrounding the event remain distorted by time and questions remain about what justice would look like now for a case nearly 70 years old, especially now that Till’s assault accuser, Carolyn Bryant, is recently deceased.

In A Few Days Full of Trouble, the co-authors offer a new perspective on the story of Emmett Till.  As his cousin and best friend, the Rev. Wheeler Parker Jr. is a lone survivor of the night of terror when young Emmett was taken from his family's rural Mississippi Delta home in the dead of night.

Rev. Parker offers an emotional and suspenseful page-turner set against a backdrop of reporting errors and manipulations, racial reckoning, and political pushback.  His account is accompanied by never-before-seen findings in the investigation, the resurrection of memory, and the battle-tested courage of faith. A Few Days Full of Trouble is a powerful work of truth-telling, a gift to readers looking to reconcile the weight of the past with a hope for the future.

Parker is pastor and district superintendent of the Argo Temple Church of God in Christ in Summit, Illinois, the church built by Alma Carthan, grandmother of Emmett Till. He lectures and teaches on the history of the struggle for equal justice in America.

Christopher Benson, an Emmy Award-winning lawyer, journalist, and associate professor at Northwestern University, co-authored with the late Mamie Till-Mobley, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated, award-winning book Death of Innocence. Formerly the Washington editor of Ebony, he has contributed to Chicago magazine, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and The New York Times.

Autographed copies of A Few Days Full of Trouble will be available in the Museum’s store and online. The hybrid Book & Author Series event begins at 6:00 pm Central and is free and open for registration.  For more information, visit civilrightsmuseum.org.

The book talk precedes the opening of the museum exhibition, “Emmett Till & Mamie Till: Let the World See,” in which Parker and his family are consultants helping to bring a fuller story for young museum-goers about Emmett Till and his family who valiantly sought justice for the teen. Event attendees will have a special opportunity to see the exhibit days before it opens to the public. ­

About the National Civil Rights Museum

The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from slavery to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors worldwide have come, including more than 90,000 students annually. Serving as the new public square, the Museum is steadfast in its mission to honor and preserve the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.  It chronicles the American civil rights movement and tells the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights, serving as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change.  A Smithsonian Affiliate and an internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum is recognized as a 2019 National Medal Award recipient by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the top national honor for museums and libraries.  It is a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% U.S. Museum, USA Today's Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC's Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.



Rev. Wheeler Parker, Jr. A Few Days Full of Trouble: Revelations on the Journey to Justice for My Cousin and Best Friend, Emmett Till

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