Remembering Emmett


To move forward, we need to learn from the painful lessons of the past. On his birthday, thoughts turn to Emmett Till.


Emmett Till

Emmett Till and his mother Mamie Till
Library of Congress

Emmett Louis Till was born on July 25, 1941, and he would have been 80 years old today. Instead, his life was cut short when he became a victim of racism and injustice.

This poem is written with prayers for reconciliation, love, and peace.

Spirited young Till whistling fervent prayers from immortal ashes

with history on repeat in need of paradisaical hand sanitizer

for calloused palms soaked with inhumane bacteria

Dr Clark is clinical assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville and medical director & division chief for Adult Inpatient and Consult-Liaison Services for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Prisma Health-Upstate. He currently serves on the APA Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry as well as the Diversity & Inclusion Section Editor and Advisory Board member for Psychiatric TimesTM.

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