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ANNE and EMMETT by Janet Langhart Cohen

( https://anneandemmett.com/ )

 

Anne & Emmett is an imaginary conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, both victims of racial intolerance and hatred. Anne Frank, portrayed by Mary Charles Johnson, is the 15-year-old Jewish girl who died in 1945 and whose Diary provided a gripping perspective of the Holocaust. Emmett Till portrayed by Darrick Brown, is the 14-year old African-American boy whose brutal murder in 1955 in Mississippi sparked the Modern American Civil Rights Movement.

 

The play opens with the two teenagers meeting in Memory, a place that isolates them from the cruelty they experienced during their lives. The beyond-the-grave encounter draws the startling similarities between the two youths' harrowing experiences at the hands of societies that couldn't protect them.

 

Anne recounts hiding in a cramped attic with her family after German dictator Adolf Hitler ordered the Nazi military to round up Jewish people throughout Europe and put them in concentration camps en route to gas chambers. At the age of 15, Anne died of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp in March 1945, a few weeks before British troops liberated the camp.

 

Emmett tells Anne how he, in 1955, ended up being brutally attacked by two white racists who beat and tortured him before shooting him in the head and tossing his body into the Tallahatchie River with a cotton gin fan tied to his neck. This happened after he whistled at a white woman while visiting his uncle in Money, Mississippi.

 

This powerful and moving piece helps us deal with the terrible reality extracting valuable lessons from the tragic lives of Anne and Emmett that should have never happened to begin with. Although graphic, the play appeals to all ages but especially those of Anne and Emmett's age, lest they never know or are allowed to forget. Their cry and the goal of writer Janet Langhart Cohen is a call to action to Stop the Hate: Tikkun Olam! We are not doomed to repeat the past if we listen to their voices.

 

We can Repair the World!

Further Reading About Anne Frank and Emmett Till

These titles can be checked out or requested at any Augusta Richmond County Public Library, (ARCPLS) Branch

Title: The diary of a young girl
Author: Frank, Anne
Publication Info: Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2010.
ARCPLS Call Number: B Frank
Recommended for upper middle grades (6+)
The Diary of a Young Girl is the record of two years in the life of a remarkable Jewish girl whose triumphant humanity in the face of unfathomable deprivation and fear has made the book one of the most enduring documents of our time. – Syndetics

Title: Anne Frank's diary: the graphic adaptation

Author: Folman, Ari
Publication Info: Pantheon Books, New York [2018]
ARCPLS Call Number: B Frank
Recommended for upper middle grades (6+)
This book adapts of Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl into a graphic version, featuring direct quotations from her diary. This book is the only graphic biography of the diary that has been authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation. --adapted from publisher's description.

Title: Treasures from the attic: the extraordinary story of Anne Frank's family
Author: Pressler, Mirjam
Publication Info: Doubleday, New York 2011.
ARCPLS Call Number: 940.53 PRE
Recommended for upper middle grades (6+)
This book celebrates the family of Anne Frank through mementos collected by her aunt, Helene Frank Elias. These papers “weave an indelible, engaging, and endearing portrait of the family that shaped Anne Frank. They wrote to one another voluminously; recounted summer holidays and wrote about love and hardships. They reassured one another during the terrible years and waited anxiously for news after the war had ended. Through these letters, they rejoiced in new life, and honored the memories of those they lost.” - Syndetics

Title: Anne Frank remembered: the story of the woman who helped to hide the Frank family
Author: Gies, Miep
Publication Info: Simon and Schuster, New York c1987.
ARCPLS Call Number: 940.531 GIE
Recommended for upper middle grades (6+)
The reminiscences of Miep Gies, the woman who hid the Frank family in Amsterdam during the Second World War, present a vivid story of life under Nazi occupation.--PINES

Title: A wreath for Emmett Till
Author: Nelson, Marilyn
Publication Info: Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Mass. 2005.
ARCPLS Call Number: J 811.54 NEL
Recommended for high school grades 9-12
Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of Emmett Till whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement. This martyr's wreath, woven from a little-known but sophisticated form of poetry, challenges us to speak out against modern-day injustices, to "speak what we see."- Syndetics

Title: Ghost boys
Author: Rhodes, Jewell Parker
Publication Info: Little, Brown and Company, ©2018
ARCPLS Call Number: YA FIC RHO
Recommended for middle grades 4-8
A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes .-Goodreads

Title: The blood of Emmett Till *
Author: Tyson, Timothy B.
Publication Info: Simon & Schuster, New York ©2017
ARCPLS Call Number: 364.134 TYS 
*note: please be aware that is title listed as adult due to content
Part detective story, part political history, Timothy Tyson's The Blood of Emmett Till revises the history of the Till case, not only changing the specifics that we thought we knew, but showing how the murder ignited the modern civil rights movement. Tyson uses a wide range of new sources, including the only interview ever given by Carolyn Bryant; the transcript of the murder trial, missing since 1955 and only recovered in 2005; and a recent FBI report on the case.--PINES

Title: Free at last: civil rights heroes *
Publication Info: Distributed exclusively by Image Entertainment, Beverly Hills, CA c1999.
ARCPLS Call Number: DVD 323 FRE
*note: please be aware that is title listed as adult due to content
"The civil rights movement in the United States is usually thought of in terms of its leadership, but often the catalysts for progress were people who fought from within a larger group or performed individual acts of heroism. Some were victims who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. These are some of those stories"- Production Company 
For more information: Augusta Richmond County Public Library (706)821-2600 or www.arcpls.org

Anne and Emmett Study Guide

A study highlighting the playwright, cast, and story. There is extensive information about Anne Frank and Emmett Till. Activities and topics for discussion are also included.

Click on the image to view or download the study guide

Anne and Emmett -AP Study Guide-Final-1-
 
 
 
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