Poet Kevin Young reads part of his poem “Money Road,” which was partly inspired by the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi.
Young’s poem starts with its subjects driving from the city of Greenwood to the town of Money, where Till was visiting relatives decades earlier. “Cotton planted / in strict rows / for show. A quiet / snow globe of pain / I want to shake. / While the flakes fall / like ash we race / the train to reach the place / Emmett Till last / whistled or smiled / or did nothing,” Young wrote.
Till was killed after being accused of whistling at a white woman, and his body was later found in the Tallahatchie River outside of Money.
“The Money Road” appears in a new Library of America anthology of Black poetry, edited by Young, called “African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song.”
Photo by Melanie Dunea
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