Past Events

Presentation: Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr., the Last Living Witness to the Kidnapping of his Cousin Emmett Till

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 07:00pm - 09:00pm

The American Studies Department is honored to present: REVEREND WHEELER PARKER JR, the last living witness to the kidnapping of his cousin Emmett Till. Parker will offer his harrowing account of the night of Till’s abduction, his thoughts on the ongoing FBI investigation and why Emmett Till’s story continues to resonate with the American public today.

In August 1955 sixteen-year-old WHEELER PARKER JR. accompanied his cousin Emmett Till to Money, Mississippi. They were together when Till whistled at Carolyn Bryant at her family’s store. Four nights later Parker witnessed the abduction of Till at gunpoint at his great-uncle Moses Wright’s home. Fearing for his life, Parker immediately returned to Chicago. Three days after the kidnapping Till’s brutally beaten and shot body surfaced in the Tallahatchie River. In September 1955 Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were acquitted of murder by an all-white, all-male jury. The pair subsequently admitted their guilt in the January 1956 publication of Look magazine. 

Wheeler Parker jr1

Location NB Theological Seminary (Hageman Hall) 35 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
This event is co-sponsored by the History Department, Douglass Residential College, and the Paul Robeson Cultural Center