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"Panel Discussion on Racial Violence Free"

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CHICAGO - Fifty years from the day that Chicago youth Emmett Till was abducted and brutally lynched, the Chicago Historical Society (CHS) takes a look at racial violence in America on Sunday, August 28, 2005, in a panel discussion titled, "Remembering Emmett Till: The Murder that Changed America".

The panel will include Christopher Benson, author of Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America, Till's cousin Wheeler Parker, who accompanied him to Mississippi, and B.L Richey, researcher on the life of Emmett Till. Joy Bivins, exhibition curator, will moderate this discussion. The afternoon will also include an opportunity to talk with Franklin McMahon, artist of the Till murder trial's courtroom drawings, which are currently on display at CHS through December 4 as a part of the traveling exhibition, Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America.

Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America exposes and documents an era that permitted brutal acts of terror against an unprotected segment of its population. The last section of the exhibit examines the case of Emmett Till and explores how the legacy of lynching affects Americans today. Emmett Till was a 14-year-old Chicagoan murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Till's lynching, his mother's courageous insistence on an open-casket funeral and the acquittals of his murderers, drew international media attention to the practice of lynching and served to mobilize support for the civil rights movement. Chicago Historical Society President, Gary T. Johnson, explains, "The exhibition is an excellent example of very recent history that is unknown to many Chicagoans. The Chicago Historical Society is preserving not just our past, but our present so that next generations can learn."

The discussion will begin at 2:00 p.m. at CHS, Clark Street at North Avenue. This event is free and open to the public; however, reservations are recommended to ensure admission and seating. Reservations can be made online at http://www.chicagohistory.org , or by phone at (312) 642-4600.

The Chicago Historical Society, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located on Clark Street at North Avenue, and can be reached by CTA buses 11, 22, 36, 72, 151 and 156. Public parking is conveniently located one block north of CHS at Clark and LaSalle Streets (enter on Stockton Drive). The museum is open Mondays through Wednesdays from noon to 8:00 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Suggested admission is $5 for adults; $3 for seniors and students (ages 13-22) with valid school IDs; $1 for children (ages 6-12); free for members and children under 6. Admission is free on Mondays. For more information, call 312-642-4600 or visit us at http://www.chicagohistory.org .

The Chicago Historical Society gratefully acknowledges the Chicago Park District's generous support of all of the museum's activities.

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