SIMEON’S STORY by Simeon Wright


An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till
Age Range: 12 & up
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Primary-source historical texts are an increasingly important genre in today’s literature for young adults. Simeon Wright, the cousin of boy martyr Emmett Till, begins his story by transporting the reader into the conditions for African Americans in the Jim Crow South through a series of anecdotes. He balances accounts of harsh oppression with high-interest details about the daily lives of the people in the Mississippi Delta. Wright then recounts his family history and their heritage of land ownership, circuit preaching and social justice. During the summer of 1955, the young Mississippi native looked forward to the impending arrival of visiting relatives from the northern city of Chicago, including his jovial cousin Bobo. “We didn’t know Bobo’s first name was Emmett until he was killed,” Wright remembers. From that point, his childhood stories makes a rendezvous with history—the boys’ long-anticipated visit to the nearby town of Greenwood ends in one of the most well-known tragedies of the civil-rights movement. The author’s strong characterization of his cousin makes this a compelling read. (Memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-55652-783-8
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2009