MUSD holds film premiere for ‘Seeking Justice for Emmett Till’


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

The audience applauds following a presentation of the MUSD Documentary “Seeking Justice for Emmett Till” which was shown at Torres High School on Wednesday.

 

Madera Unified School District held a video premiere of its documentary, “Seeking Justice for Emmett Till,” in Matilda Torres High School’s Lecture Hall.


The film features the culminating activities of an action-learning project where 8th grade students from La Vina and Eastin-Arcola Elementary School researched the history of Jim Crow laws and how they impacted people from the 1950s to the present. The video was shown Wednesday afternoon.


Through their research, the students discovered the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American youth who left his home in Chicago to visit relatives in Mississippi in 1955. The students were stunned by the crime and shocked that the men who were tried for Emmett Till’s murder were found “Not Guilty.” Therefore, they decided to correct this historical injustice by putting Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, the killers, on trial. Madera Unified’s Communication team captured the students’ journey and produced the video documentary. Special guests for the showing were the 8th grade classes from Eastin-Arcola and LaVina Schools.


The noon-time event also included special presentations to student winners of the research and essay writing contest connected with the project.


The film, which was produced by videographer Jose Romo and directed by George Garnica, MUSD communications analyst, took viewers through the project, focusing on the students’ preparation for their march in February to “avenge the blood of Emmett Till” and the subsequent trial that was held in the Madera County Courthouse Museum on March 30.


After the airing, the student winners of the research/writing contest were announced by their teachers, Samuel Colunga, La Vina 8th grade teacher, and Scott Gandy, Eastin Arcola 8th grade teacher. The first, second and third place winners from each school were presented with their prizes by O.J. White, Clovis CPA, and his wife, Patricia. Donations from the Whites provided the cash for the prizes. First place winners received $100; 2nd place, $50; and 3rd place, $25.


Eastin Arcola winners were Sarah Guglielmana, 1st place; Kevin Camarillo, 2nd place; and Gueorgina Bojorquez, 3rd place.

La Vina winners were Christopher Tornero, 1st place; Nicol Cuadras, 2nd place; and Oliver Buchanan, 3rd place.


The documentary film has been made available to the public by Madera Unified at https://youtu.be/lfdcAtEqMYc.