Keith Beauchamp

Keith Beauchamp

Filmmaker Beauchamp to Address IWU's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Dinner

January 11, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -  On Sunday, Jan. 22, Keith Beauchamp, the young filmmaker responsible for the investigative documentary The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till will be the guest speaker at Illinois Wesleyan's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Dinner.  The documentary film will be shown on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center (300 Beecher St., Bloomington).  Following the film, Paul Bushnell, professor of history and senior advisor to the faculty, will lead a discussion about the video.

The dinner, co-sponsored by the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington and Normal and Illinois Wesleyan, will be held at 5 p.m. in the Main Lounge of Memorial Center (104 University St., Bloomington).

Tickets for the dinner are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12 years of age, and can be purchased through the Illinois Wesleyan University's Bookstore (Hansen Student Center, 300 Beecher St., Bloomington).  The phone number for the office is (309) 556-3059.  Tickets will be on sale until Tue. Jan. 17.  No tickets will be sold at the door.

Beauchamp's documentary about the life and murder of 14-year-old Emmett Louis Till, an African-American young man traveling from Chicago to Mississippi, led to a reopening of the case.  Till was brutally murdered in 1955, and an all-white jury acquitted the two white suspects charged with his death.  Currently, investigations are underway and supporters are waiting for the closure of the case and delivery of the findings to District Attorney Joyce Chiles of Mississippi's fourth judicial district, who will then lead possible indictments.

After nine years of research and investigation, Beauchamp established himself and his fight for civil rights justice when in January and February of 2005, 50 years after Till's death, the film was screened across the country at several colleges and festivals.

Beauchamp, who was inspired by an old Jet Magazine article, his fear of racial violence growing up in the Deep South, and a similar instance of prejudicial violence when he was beaten by an undercover police officer for dancing with a white girl, has dedicated himself to finding the truth in the Emmitt Louis Till murder case.  His dedication has led to the "Till Bill," legislation passed by the U.S. Senate, forming a new federal unit within the Justice Department to probe old civil rights cases.

Contact: Meg Dubuque, (309) 556-3181