Just a Kid from the SouthSide

71st, Emmett Till Road in Chicago, was a part of my childhood. I passed 71st each day as it bordered my elementary school. I was constantly reminded of who Emmett was,  he was just like me, a black boy who grew up on the Southside of Chicago. I listened to the stories of my family members reminiscing where they were when they heard about Emmett’s death. “You heard about that boy” said the neighborhood kids. Enraged youth formed groups that wanted to go to Mississippi to seek revenge. The tragedy of Emmett Till was a call to activism for my Grandmother who along with my Grandfather raised six children on the Southside. She understood that because of Emmett more had to be done to protect her children. Many people within the community began to organize more around how to better protect each other and ensure that what happened to Emmett would not happen again. The legacy of Emmett Till will live through the Southside of Chicago forever.

Amir George is a motion picture artist and film programmer born and bred in Chicago. He is co-curator of Black Radical Imagination and founder of the Cinema Culture.