Two (2) New Releases by Clenora Hudson-Weems, PhD--AuthorHouse, Parity:
The Definitive Emmett Till: Passion and Battle of a Woman for Intellectual Justice
Also, Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of the Civil Rights Movement (newly
republished by AuthorHouse, Parity)
The Definitive Emmett Till: Passion and Battle of a Woman for Intellectual Justice
I met Dr. Clenora Hudson-Weems in D. C. at the National Ford Annual Conference in
1987. She was one of the plenary speakers, rendering a most eloquent and engaging slide
presentation on her groundbreaking thesis of Till as catalyst of the civil rights movement.
It was astounding; I remember it as though it were yesterday. Clenora’s work resonates
with me to this day. At that moment, she resurrected and established Till as the
beginning of the Movement. Later, shortly before completing the Ph.D. in May 1988,
she began communicating with Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley and encouraging
her to seek justice for her son’s brutal murder. Thus, anyone who lays claim to exhuming
the Till saga before Dr. Hudson-Weems demands to be questioned.
Dr. William Turner, Vice Pres; Assoc. Provost, U. of KY--
It is the responsibility of all writers to cite the research and writings of those who come
before them. In a world where credit is often given to mediocrity, we can ill afford to
ignore the work of the scholars who pave the way for us to craft story. Hudson-Weems'
Till writings are clearly the first full length studies to establish the lynching of this martyr
as the true catalyst for the Modern Civil Rights Movement. Hence, anyone writing after
her on this subject has the responsibility to not only know the source but to cite her work
as well. To not do this or to claim ignorance of her work is an obvious sign of fraud,
inferior research, or arrogance.
Evelyn Coleman, Award-Winning Author of What a Woman’s Gotta Do
For nearly 20 years, Hudson-Weems was the lone voice calling for a fresh assessment of the true
historical significance of the murder of Emmett Till. That voice has lately been joined by a host
of others, but there is disharmony in the choir. The de facto failure to credit, let alone
acknowledge, both her pioneering work and her rightful place as the preeminent Till scholar is
more than intellectual theft; it is personal grand larceny. The truth needs to get out that the real
authority about Emmett’s story is Clenora. When someone’s dedicated his or her life, and mined
the subject as much as Clenora has, her name needs to be connected with what she’s done.
Further, my own effort to assist Clenora in realizing her dream of producing a motion picture
based on her research and vision of racial healing through redemption has also been
compromised by this sudden rash of Till “experts.” Modern day pirates beware; legions stand
between you and your greed. With the support of her many friends, colleagues, and true
believers, Dr. Hudson-Weems’ unique voice will not be lost in the present cacophony, nor will
her impersonators go unchallenged.
Barry Morrow, Oscar Award-Winning Co-Writer for Rain Man; Producer
From the beginning of American Democracy, the record of events has been
distorted to suit those who share the power of the pen. Should the widespread practices
of cheating and stealing ideals that animated the Civil Rights Movement be left to the few
willing to raise their voices against the powers that be, or should swift and corrective
action be taken forth by one who claims harm? Is it a sin to aspire to proper conduct of a
higher order, which modern day writers may be incapable of achieving? This book is
sassy, curt to some, and a breath of fresh air to others, but all in all, it is the vintage
Africana womanist militancy of Dr. Clenora Hudson-Weems that propels this book into
orbit. Here, a little history is worth thousands of words. . .
Dr. Clenora Hudson-Weems’ research “in the trenches” must be respected,
honored, and recognized as the original truth of this sad chapter in American Democracy.
It was because of Emmett Till’s second class citizenship status that his lynching was just
that of another dead “Negro” in America, but her fight to bring forth the political,
economic and social dynamics that changed America for the better cannot be discounted.
“Emmett Till: The Impetus of the Modern Civil Rights Movement,” (1988), later
published as Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of the Civil Rights Movement (1994) spell
out in vivid details all of what we now know was the true catalyst of the Modern Civil
Rights Movement. Just as her first book on the impact of the Emmett Till case propelled
us into a clearer understanding of the Modern Civil Rights Movement, this new book,
The Definitive Emmett Till: Battle for Truth and Intellectual Justice, will now do the
same for the battle for intellectual justice for all and hopefully will bring about the end of
such a brutal crime against one’s total personhood--mind, body and soul.
Atty. Alvin O. Chambliss, Jr., “the last original Civil Rights attorney in America,”
2006 Charles Hamilton Houston Chair at N. C. C. U. School of Law Durham, N.C.
In many respects, Dr. Hudson-Weems’ crusade for intellectual justice mirrors the
struggle for justice for Emmett Till waged by his family members and supporters. By
insisting on an open casket at the funeral, Till’s relatives refused to allow the horrific
evidence of institutionalized racial violence to be covered up any longer. Building on
this precedent, Dr. Hudson-Weems is now demonstrating her refusal to let injustice reign
by allowing the theft of her Till work to go uncontested through silence. And now it is
time for all Black intellectuals and their supporters, too, to stand up and refuse to allow
media capitalists to expand their efforts to disseminate highly stylized and often
misrepresented accounts of critical events in African American history in the popular
media, while ignoring and displacing serious intellectual discourse.
Everyone is mesmerized by popular culture, so much so that they fail to give
attention to those who are really responsible for bringing forth uncanny truths for the
purpose of enlightening all to ensure the continuing search for justice. While the youths
in this particular instance, because the modern civil rights movement predates their birth,
may not get the total picture, though they arrogantly think that they do, there is absolutely
no excuse for the position taken by many from our older generation, who are so obsessed
with getting their moments of glory in the spot lights that they sacrifice truth needed for
the salvation of our children and our future generations. They pose as authoritative
consultants, jumping at the opportunity to ride the waves to fame, fortune, and glory.
And so it is with today’s young and old Till “experts” alike, whose primary concern,
unfortunately, is to promote themselves.
Dr. James B. Stewart, Prof. of Labor Studies & Industrial Relations, African
American Studies & Management & Organization., Penn State University
The history of the murder of the fourteen-year-old child has all the markings of
high drama made in America. The history in itself belongs to nobody. Not even the
ghosts of Emmett or his beloved mother can claim it. However, when the facts of that
history are given particular form, and that form itself is given name or title, and is
codified as being of the hand or mind of a named person and published as such, that
history is an artifact, a commodity, protected by copyright law and custom as intellectual
property. . . .
It is legend that T.S. Eliot claimed that good writers (artists and cultural
commentators) appropriate from others, but genius steals. Hidden in this legendary
observation is part of Eliot’s meaning that was lost to our modern-day, intellectual
pirates: genius has the insight to re-configure an idea or image into something that gives
the appearance of a new synthesis—at least that! However, Hudson-Weems’ original
work nailed down the coordinates of the Emmett Till affairs in ways that made it virtually
impossible for others to lay claim to the same conclusions without having to
acknowledge that her tireless research and synthesis had already thoroughly covered the
territory. . . . Whoever buys or sells in the marketplace should know sources or, at the
very least, the provenance of the commodity.
Dr. Fredrick Woodard, Prof. of English & African American World Studies, former
V. Pres. & Dir. of African Am. World Studies, U. of Iowa who hooded me in 1988
For the record, Hudson-Weems was the individual who personally put her
academic reputation on the line to pursue her analysis of what most folks had actually
underestimated, the historical significance of the murder of Emmett Till. Indeed,
disregarding average conventional wisdom, she initiated her theses that the role of Till’s
lynching had prepared the historic stage for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. . . .
Despite all, Dr. Hudson-Weems has continued to show her honesty and
consistency in relating the story of Emmett Till by continuing a series of historical events
with varying themes, but always being linked to the tragedy of the young man-child from
Chicago. Moreover, she is the only one of those to really appreciate and discuss the
importance of Mr. Mooty to the Till story. Today, because of her commitment to
promoting the story of the Till legacy, it has endured for over 50 years and continues to
Elombe Brath, WBIA-FM Executive Producer and Host for “Afrikaleidoscope,”
New York City.
Today, many disciplines, including history, lack integrity as reflected in the
writings of the authorities. However, Dr. Hudson-Weems exemplifies truth, as she is a
committed, courageous and heroic scholar of the highest merit, fighting crimes against
humanity, untruths in history, and infringements and misappropriations of intellectual
property, including her Till work.
In the throws of her own adversity, addressing the theft of her intellectual
property, she is also championing the fight against injustice on several fronts for others,
including her current passion in supporting the plight of Black farmers and land owners
as a Till continuum. She organized the first grass roots conference for Black farmers,
“The First National Conference for African American Farmers and Our Land Legacy,”
with the theme From Theft of Black Farmers’ Land to Lynching for Land, held January
26-28, 2006 in Memphis, Tennessee. Other such conferences have been underwritten by
outsiders like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Sister Jacqui (Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde, Esq.), 5 time World Champion Boxer, Real
Estate attorney & daughter of “Smokin’” Joe Frazier
About the Book
It has always been said that truth will ultimately prevail. This three part book represents
that truism. Part One presents the untainted facts surrounding the story of Till’s brutal
lynching and the establishment of that incident as the true catalyst of the Civil Rights
Movement of the 1950s. Unearthing and establishing Till as catalyst found its origins
over thirty years after it happened, in the 1988 Ford Doctoral Dissertation, “Emmett Till:
The Impetus of the Modern Civil Rights Movement,” by this author at the University of
Iowa. It speaks the truth about the seminal role of the innocent fourteen-year-old
northern youth whose brief visit to Mississippi, the metaphor for American racism,
rendered him the status of martyr for victims of centuries of abject racial oppression.
Part Two presents the raison d’être for the book, as it confronts and exposes the
abominable acts of plagiarism by several people whose obvious goal is to acquire fame
and fortune for themselves. Part Three highlights the continuing commitment to the
struggle on the part of the author via demonstrating the Till Continuum, represented by
modern day examples of Black victimization. The plight of Black farmers, who are
loosing 9,000 acres of land per week, and land owners in general, such as “Smokin’ Joe”
Frazier who lost 140 acres of prime property in Bucks County, PA valued at 100 million
dollars, are supreme paradigms of this reality. Thus, the injustices of robbing Black
people and their future generations of their land legacy and the theft of the intellectual
property of one who is dedicated to truth in its totality are the key elements in this book.
Scholars, attorneys, celebrities, and others have offered their testimonies to demonstrate
their dedication to bringing a halt once and for all to such pervasive injustices.
About the Author
Clenora Hudson-Weems, PhD, Professor of English (UMC), is author of Africana
Womanist Literary Theory, 2004; Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of the Civil Rights
Movement, 1994; Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves, 1993; and co-author, with
Wilfred D. Samuels, of Toni Morrison, 1990. She has chapters/articles in Call and
Response: The Riverside Anthology of the African American Literary Tradition, 1997;
Out of the Revolution: The Development of Africana Studies and A Historical and
Bibliographical Guide to the African American Experience, 2000; State of the Race:
Creating Our 21st Century, 2004, and Sisterhood, Feminisms and Power, 1998. She
edited Contemporary Africana Theory and Thought: A Guide to Africana Studies (In
Press) and was the guest editor for a special issue on “Africana Womanism” for The
Western Journal of Black Studies (fall 2001). Her current work is Emmett: Passion of a
Black Woman, a feature-length movie script, with producer Barry Morrow, Oscar-
winning co-writer for Rain Man. Her novel, Soul Mates, is forthcoming; latest passion is
the plight of Black farmers and our land owners.