A Conversation with Karlos K. Hill about The Murder of Emmett Till

August 27, 2020

A photograph of Karlos Hill juxtaposed with the cover to his book, The Murder of Emmett Till

This week marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of the murder of Emmett Till on August 28, 1955. Karlos K. Hill’s new book, The Murder of Emmett Till, retells and recontextualizes the story for a new generation of readers born decades after this decisive moment, which helped ignite the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Hill and WLT editor in chief Daniel Simon sat down for a virtual conversation about the book.


Karlos K. Hill is an associate professor and chair of the Clara Luper Department of African & African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. His next book, The Tulsa Massacre: A Photographic History, is forthcoming from the OU Press in spring 2021. Through an up-to-date narrative of events as well as one hundred photographs and carefully selected eyewitness accounts, the book will make the case that what happened in Tulsa in 1921 was not a “race riot”—it was a community lynching and attempted expulsion of Tulsa’s black community.


Photo by Alba Simon

Daniel Simon is a poet, essayist, translator, and WLT’s assistant director and editor in chief. His 2017 edited volume, Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867–2017, won a 2018 Nebraska Book Award. His most recent edited collection, Dispatches from the Republic of Letters: 50 Years of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature (Deep Vellum/Phoneme, 2020), was a Publishers Weekly starred pick. Under a Gathering Sky, his third book of poems, is forthcoming from SFA Press in April 2024.