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Scottsboro Incident and Emmett Till

III. WEBQUEST: The Scottsboro Incident and the Murder of Emmett Till

Explore the links below, taking notes on the pages to identify the source of your notes.

1. One of Harper Lee’s inspirations for her novel was a case known as the “Scottsboro Incident” that she had heard about when growing up. The setting for the Scottsboro case was the rural American South in the 1930s, when whites feared racial fraternization as much as blacks feared the mobs that enforced segregation. The defendants in the case were known as the “Scottsboro Boys”—a label that reflected their youth, but even more, in that place and at that time, an epithet used to imply racial inferiority. Click on the following links, read about the trial, and summarize (3-5 sentences) what you learned. (10 points)


 This site provides a Brief synopsis of the Scottsboro incident.


This site focuses on the women in the Scottsboro Trial.

2. Additional inspiration for Lee’s novel came from another real case a few years prior to writing her book. It was the murder of a young black boy your age named Emmett Till.  Choose on of the links and write one paragraph about your reaction to the young man murder and the events following. (10 points)


 This site is dedicated to a movie about Till’s murder. Although the film is not viewable online, there is a lot of information about the case here. This page contains a brief summary.


This link takes you to a page dedicated to the special features accompanying the movie


These links take you to YouTube videos with interviews from some friends and relatives of Emmett Till and other civil rights leaders.