Imagine being haunted since the age of 10 by the swollen, bruised, and beaten face of a boy only a few years your senior. That’s what happened to Keith Beauchamp after he saw the infamous funeral photo of Emmett Till. “I would have butterflies whenever somebody said Emmett Till’s name. It was a strange, strange thing that happened throughout my life,” says Beauchamp, sitting in the living room of his semi-moved-in Brooklyn apartment.
Beauchamp found real-life inspiration through Till. “If it wasn’t for Emmett Till, I wouldn’t be a ﬁlmmaker,” he says. It was Beauchamp who got the case of the murdered man-child reopened 50 years after Till’s death galvanized the modern Civil Rights Movement.
On any given Sunday, the Investigation Discovery (ID) network features titillating stories of Hollywood crimes, unsolved murders, and discoveries in forensic science. The Injustice Files is one of three programs Beauchamp has helmed on which he investigates cold Civil Rights cases. However, Beauchamp is more than the face of the program, he is actually the driving force behind it. Although The Injustice Files was the auteur’s ﬁrst time in front of the camera lens, it wasn’t his ﬁrst time behind it. In 2005, he released The Untold Storyof Emmett Louis Till, a documentary investigating the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy who was killed in Money, Miss.