Brigham Young University English professor Chris Crowe last month received a 2004 Jane Addams Honor Book Award at the United Nations Plaza in New York City for his book "Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case."
The book tells the story of Emmett Till, black youth from Chicago who at age 14 was brutally lynched in 1955 while visiting his great uncle in Mississippi.
His killers were acquitted, stirring the black community to anger and action. This case is believed to have sparked the civil rights movement in the United States. Rosa Parks refused to give up her famous seat on a Birmingham, Ala., bus 100 days after Emmett Till's murder.
"I was shocked I had never heard of a case that was as widely covered in 1955 as this one was," Crowe said. "I was shocked at the terrible nature of the crime. I was shocked that this case is virtually forgotten in the teaching of U.S. history."
Crowe wrote the book to help educate children on a crime that had received a lot of publicity in 1955 and had a big impact on the civil rights movement and those involved in the movement.
The awards for the annual Jane Addams Children's Book Awards are given by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the Jane Addams Peace Association present. They have given these awards to published children's books since 1953.
Winning books are chosen because they effectively address themes or topics that promote peace, social justice, world community, and/or equality of the sexes and all races. The books must also meet conventional standards of literary and artistic excellence.
Crowe's book also added unanimously to the American Library Association's 2004 Best Books for Young Adults and was named a 2004 Orbis Pictus Recommended Book by the National Council of Teachers of English.
For more information contact Chris Crowe at (801) 422-3429.
Writer: Rebekah Hanson