The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till

(After the murder, After the burial)

Emmett's mother is a pretty-faced thing;
the tint of pulled taffy.
She sits in a red room,
drinking black coffee.
She kisses her killed boy.
And she is sorry.
Chaos in windy grays
through a red prairie.

From The Bean Eaters (1960)

Woman stands in front of Unity Hall, a historic building for black political organizing in Chicago, 1967. Photography by Robert Sengstacke, courtesy of The Sengstacke Archive at The University of Chicago Visual Resources Center.