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The UNC Program in the Humanities, in collaboration with the Chapel Hill Public Library, will host two afternoons of community dialogue in which participants reflect on Jim Crow history and explore its impact on today’s society.

On Saturday, January 25, 2014 join us for a free performance and discussion of actor Mike Wiley’s Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till, at 2 PM at the Chapel Hill Public Library.  Registration is not required.

Dar He is set in 1955 and tells the story of 14-year-old black Emmett Till, who was murdered after allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. Through conversations with darheLook magazine journalist, Emmett’s mother and others caught up in the events that led to Till’s devastating fate, this riveting one-man play chronicles the murder, trial and unbelievable confessions of the men accused of Till’s murder.

Using the performance as a foundational text, audience members will participate in a post-show discussion in which we will explore the discriminatory past of the Jim Crow era and its impact on each of us today. Within this context, the community will examine current controversies that connect race and injustice, as well as community responses to such events.

The conversation will continue on Saturday, February 22, 2014 with a book discussion of Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America, at 2 PM at the Chapel Hill Public Library.  Registration is not required.

Death of Innocence is the heartbreaking and inspiring story of Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till, who galvanized the civil rights movement with her response to the murder of her son. Community members are invited to read the Death of Innocence and join others in an exploration of the themes of the book as well as how diverse societies can encompass and promote racial and cultural civility. With the words of Mamie Till-Mobley as inspiration, “I focused on my son while I considered this book…The result is in your hands…I am experienced, but not cynical… I am hopeful that we all can be better than we are. I’ve been brokenhearted, but I still maintain an oversized capacity for love,” participants will explore how they and their community can “be better than we are.”

Directions & Additional Information

For directions to the Chapel Hill Public Library, click here. (Both events will take place in the upper level meeting room of the library, accessible via the upper lobby.) Food and drink are allowed and free refreshments will be served at both events. The first 50 attendees at the January 25 performance and discussion of Dar He will receive a free copy of Death of Innocence.

For more information, contact Christie Norris at

This program is part of Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy—A National Dialogue, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and is conducted in partnership with the American Bar Association Division for Public Education. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Bar Association, or any of its program partners.