This essay considers the death of Emmett Till as a symbol of continued cultural and political significance. By examining a cluster of contemporary children's works that dramatize the story of Emmett Till's death by Chris Crowe, Lewis Nordan and Marilynn Nelson, this essay links the ways that the ravaged black body continues to serve as a rite of passage for contemporary white subjects in making the project of justice. In their different ways of imagining the capacity of injured blackness to enable the perhaps oppositional projects of constituting American subjectivities and realizing American racial healing, these works place before us the question of the relationship between the constitution of the black subjects in pain, the possibilities for American healing, and the establishment of justice in the contemporary moment.


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pp. 1-24
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