Emmy nominee and filmmaker to speak at Southern - Friday, November 13, 2009
Southern University's Department of History will host, "Civil Rights Cold Case Initiative: A Dialogue," with Emmy nominee and filmmaker Keith A. Beauchamp on Wednesday, November 18 at 6 p.m., in room 313 of T.T. Allain Hall.
Beauchamp will speak about his investigation into the murder of Emmett Till some 50 years after Till's death in 1955. His research is responsible for the reopening of the Till case by the United States Department of Justice in May 2004. This research eventually led him to create the documentary film, "The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till."
Beauchamp first encountered the Emmett Till story at age 10 while looking through an issue of Jet Magazine. In 1996, the former Southern University student started his own research, and found microfilm of articles which listed witnesses who had not been questioned by police, and references to uncharged participants in the murder.
Through the help of other researchers, Beauchamp contacted living witnesses, but he says that it was some years before they trusted him enough to speak on camera. Researching and creating the film took nine years.
Beauchamp is involved in other film work but credits the "Untold Story" with occupying and shaping his life in a major way, and his relationship with Mamie Till, Emmett's mother, with inspiring him to create the film.
This is Beauchamp's first film. The story was featured in various television shows including "60 Minutes" with the late Ed Bradley.
Beauchamp spent a few years studying Criminal Justice at Southern University, but left school before graduation to pursue a career in entertainment in New York.