The Commission on Chicago Landmarks Thursday granted preliminary landmark status to the South Side home of Emmett Till, at 6427 S. St. Lawrence Ave. in Woodlawn. Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times Emmett Till’s home on the South Side was granted preliminary landmark status Thursday — on the same date that the teen’s historic open-casket funeral was held 65 years ago. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted unanimously to give the prestigious status to the home at 6427 S. St. Lawrence Ave., where Till lived before that fateful trip down South ending with his brutal lynching on Aug. 28, 1955. It’s a bittersweet milestone in the years-long journey of preservationists and the Till family to landmark the home of the youth whose murder propelled the civil rights movement. It comes a week after last Friday’s 65th anniversary of the seminal American tragedy. “I am grateful for the efforts to preserve the memory of my cousin Emmett Till. He speaks from the grave,” Till’s cousin, the Rev. Wheeler Parker, 81, of Summit wrote in his testimony read to commissioners.
“Naomi Davis, the founder of the non-profit that bought the Till home was born one day after he died and her family lived close to the area where he was killed.”
“We bought this property, this rundown building which we are in the process of lovingly restoring and upcycling, to play a pivotal role in this neighborhood’s next chapter,” she said. “With the community, we are transforming Till Mobley home into a centerpiece of tourism to rejuvenate West Woodlawn, which was considered Chicago’s first black middle-class neighborhood.”
The James McCosh Elementary School in Chicago, where Till once studied, was renamed the “Emmett Louis Till Math And Science Academy” in 2005
The mission of Emmett Louis Till Math and Science Academy is to meet the academic and socio-emotional needs of every student by providing rigorous and engaging instruction in a safe environment for all students.
Every student will graduate armed with the academic and life skills necessary for self-actualization, active citizenship, and post-secondary success.
ARCHIVIST, EDUCATOR, HISTORIAN, and ARTiST
Dale Ricardo Shields is a 2017 winner of The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award®, 2017 and 2015 Tony® award nominee for the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, the 2017 AUDELCO/"VIV" Special Achievement Award, 2020, 2021, and 2022 ENCORE AWARD / The Actors Fund and winner of the 2022. Recently, he won the 2022 Legend Award from his alma mater Ohio University. He is the 2021 winner of the Paul Robeson Award, presented (jointly) by the Actors Equity Association and the Actors Equity Foundation.
His extensive professional credits as a Director, Stage manager, and Actor (Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and Regional) As an actor he has appeared on Saturday Night Live, Another World, Guiding Light, The Cosby Show, and the ITV television series "Special Needs" and commercials and film.
Professor Shields is a member of the Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the American Guild of Musical Artists performance unions and an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
He began his artistic academic career in New York City at Playwrights Horizon, The South Bronx Action Theatre, and Mind Builders, and then was invited to join the teaching staff at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre (New York Shakespeare Festival). He represented the United States for Theatre Young Audiences at the ASSITEJ Theatre Festival in London, England.
He has taught and been a visiting artist at Ohio University, The College of Wooster, Denison University, Macalester College, Susquehanna University, and SUNY Potsdam.
He holds B.F.A and M.F.A, Degrees from Ohio University.