n the past, I have described American History like a salad with many ingredients. The combination of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, croutons, olives and other topping allow for a much more flavorful taste.
As we celebrate Black History Month, often some of the images of the past in American history makes us cry. Like the onion as we slice into it, the emotions that are released will bring tears to our eyes.
Each year, the Drama Ministry at our church, Greater St. Matthews Baptist Church, picks an event from our past and uses it as a teachable moment. They do this to remind us and to motivate us. We can learn and grow from these skits.
On Tuesday night, as I watched my son practice for the upcoming play about the kidnapping and killing of Emmett Till in 1955, I felt those emotions.
My son is playing Emmett in the play. As I watched him in his role as Emmett express his excitement about going South to visit family in Money, Miss., I wished I could jump in and stop him. I listen as his mother tried to warn him, and his reply that everything would be OK.
Of course, there is no way to change the history, and everything was not OK. Emmett made a fatal mistake while in Mississippi. Because of his mistake, he was killed. At 2 a.m. Aug. 28, 1955, he was dragged out of bed, brutally beaten and killed.
As I watched the rehearsal, I thought to myself what would I do if one of my children were killed? I had to walk out several times because the sight of seeing my son dragged out of bed to his death seemed too real.
When we see these horrible crimes occur, I think if more people could visualize their own children being the victim, then we would have more sympathy for the families of those that have been killed.
On Sunday, our Drama Ministry will bring the Emmett Till story to life. At both 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. church services, the Drama Ministry will perform a play for Black History Month.
I would like to invite the Galveston County community out to see the play and also to meet Simeon Wright. Mr. Wright is the cousin of Emmett Till. He will be in attendance at the church Sunday. The address is 6333 state Highway 6, Hitchcock. Please enter through the sanctuary doors on Fairwood Road.
Mr. Wright was in the bed with Emmett the night he was kidnapped and killed. He is a relative of one of our church members and has agreed to share his story with us. History has many views, but we are honored to have an eyewitness to the events that night.
Mr. Wright will be available for a meet-and-greet immediately following the 11 a.m. service. He will also have copies of his book “Simeon’s Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till.”
I hope to see you Sunday.
Sam Collins III lives in Hitchcock