Anthony Walton (1960- ) was born in Aurora, Illinois, and is a graduate of both Notre Dame and Brown Universities. He is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Mississippi: An American Journey, and co-author with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WW II’s Forgotten Heroes. He is also co-editor, with Michael S. Harper, of The Vintage Book of African American Poetry. Currently, he is visiting professor of English at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
The poem below was
included in his Mississippi memoir, and was reprinted in Christopher Metress,
The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentary Narrative (Charlottesville:
University of Virginia Press, 2002), 340. In this poem, Walton focuses
on the picture of the white girl that Emmett Till was carrying in his
wallet and showed to his cousins that fateful day in Money, Mississippi.
As Metress explains, “Walton emphasizes Till’s innocence and
reimagines the boy’s meeting with Carolyn Bryant in those terms”
The Lovesong of Emmett Till (1996)
More than likely she