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Conversation with Ronald Collins | Tragedy on Trial

Conversation with Ronald Collins | Tragedy on Trial

Online & In-Person


Join us in the library or online for a conversation with Ronald K. L. Collins, author of Tragedy on Trial: The Story of the Infamous Emmett Till Murder Trial.

Tragedy on Trial reveals as never before the entire and shocking story of the 1955 trial of Emmett Till's murderers. Based on extensive research, and accompanied by photos of the trial and a "For the Record" Introduction by Lonnie G. Bunch, III (Secretary of the Smithsonian), the brisk narrative brings the story alive, revealing all its manipulations of justice, including:

  • the sheriff who from beginning to end put the fix in for the defendants;
  • the ethically conflicted county attorney who selected the jurors;
  • the successful scheme to never charge the guilty defendants with kidnapping;
  • the defense lawyers who corruptly built their case on racism of the cruelest kind;
  • the White woman who falsely accused Emmett Till, inflaming an already bigoted all-White male jury;
  • the Black witnesses for the defense who were rounded up and secretly jailed in distant jurisdictions;
  • the defense's medical “experts” who were not experts; and
  • the defense's closing arguments (never recorded but now reconstructed) directed to “every Anglo-Saxon” member of the jury.

Ronald Collins (a retired law professor and the Lewes Public Library Distinguished Lecturer) offers an original and in-depth account of the Till murder trial and highlights the fearless efforts of Mamie Till and the courageous friends and family who testified. Collins also uncovers the truth behind the widely read 1956 Look magazine story, correcting falsehoods that persist to this day. He is the author of a dozen books and numerous scholarly articles.

Chanta Howard Wilkinson, Esq., will engage the author in conversation about the book and its modern-day implications. Howard Wilkinson is the founder of Chanta Wilkinson Consulting, LLC, where she provides DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion, & justice) and nonprofit board governance consulting, and assistance to organizations implementing strategies and best practices. She holds a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, a B.A. from Rutgers College, and a Diversity & Inclusion for H.R. Certificate from Cornell University. Chanta serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations across Delaware and resides in Lewes with her family.

This event is co-sponsored by the ACLU of Delaware, Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice, League of Women Voters of DE, Delaware Human & Civil Rights Commission, and YWCA Delaware..

We invite you to support the author by purchasing a copy of their book from Browseabout Books by clicking HERE. Call-in orders are accepted at (302) 226-2665 or you can stop by the store to purchase a copy. For store hours, please visit their website. Each copy purchased comes signed. Books will be available for sale and for signing at the event.

NOTE: this session is available to attend in-person or through Zoom. You MUST REGISTER and indicate which you prefer.

If you have need assistance with registration or getting your Zoom invitation, please email us.

Basic written instructions for using Zoom may be found here and a brief video tutorial may be found here. Closed captioning is available for all our sessions. Information on enabling closed captioning in Zoom may be found here.

This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.
Wednesday, March 13, 2024
5:00pm - 6:00pm Eastern Time
Large Meeting Room
Lewes Public Library
  Adults     Older Adults  
  Book Discussions  
Registration has closed.