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RaShawn Thurman Professor Borrero English 1102 April 13, 2012

Final Pitch

Dear HarperCollins Publishers, My name is RaShawn Thurman, CEO of “Truth-Be-Told”. When you think of August 28th, what do you think of? A birthday, anniversary or maybe you can’t think of anything significant about the 28th of August. Well, I’m here to prove a point and to get the truth out. August 28th, 1955 is significant and everyone should know its significance. When I mean everyone, I should be more specific. I feel that people should know about this tragedy as soon as they start studying history in grade school. This day is extremely vital to our development in history and this was the day that an innocent young man, by the name of Emmett Till, was tragically murdered. Although this story has been told several times, I want to take a different approach with it. I call it, Lynching at its Finest. Before I explain where I am going with this, I feel as though I should explain a little bit of the background history of the murder. Emmett Till and his cousin make a trip from Chicago, Illinois to Mississippi to visit a distant uncle. While visiting, Emmett and his cousin decided to go to the local grocery store to get a few items. Emmett was pressured by his cousin to a little flirtation move on the cashier, and of course, he didn’t back down. But little did Emmett know, he wouldn’t get away with it. I know what you are all probably thinking, why would you publish
Comment [TR9]: I added a very brief synopsis of history! I hope I’m not sounding redundant. Comment [TR2]: Fixed typo Comment [AB3]: Everyone – children, the elderly, people in India? My point here – try not to generalize about your audience and who your content can appeal to. Be more specific. Comment [AB4]: I love how you are attempting to engage your audience. I think you do a good job of setting the tone for the piece. Comment [TR5]: I try to clarify who I directed “everyone” to! Comment [TR6]: Fixed my fragment Comment [AB7]: Thought provoking title. Comment [AB8]: Your introduction on is very well composed. The tone is appropriate, it is clear and it establishes a clear focus for the pitch. Now I want to see if you can convey your purpose clearly. . Comment [AB1]: I like it 

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the re-telling of a story? My answer to that question is that there are other aspects that most people are not aware of. When I say most, I feel as though I am speaking from personal experience. I’ll be honest and say I was not the most educated person on this topic. That is why If feel that other people should educate themselves like I took the time to do. I not only want to inform my audience of the story, but I want to be able to broaden my audience’s way of forming ideas of their own. In today’s society, we are often instructed how, what and when to think. We are slowly turning into “robots” and I feel as though we need to get back to creating ideas on our own. My book would accomplish this in a sense that it would almost force you to view different perspectives other than your own. Having a different perspective in general will make you as a reader become acclimated with the rest of society. My inspiration for writing this novel is pretty clear. A young, innocent boy was tragically murdered and was never truly got justice. It doesn’t matter if he was Black, White, Hispanic or any other race at that; no one should be murdered no matter what. I feel like this situation should hit home to anyone with a heart and realizes that situations like these should never happen. When it comes to the Emmett Till story, there were a lot of holes in the story that never fully got solved. Both J. W Miliam, and Roy Bryant were acquitted due to lack of evidence, so what happens to the case? Does that mean that the Till family will never get answers? Does this make it okay for someone to brutally murder someone and get away with it? Author, Christopher Mentress even had questions regarding the case that no one was able to answer. For instance, what really had happened that afternoon in the Bryant grocery? Moreover, how did Milam and Bryant find out about the alleged transgression? Who else besides Milam and Bryant drove out to Mose Wright’s cabin that night, and who were the other men spotted with Milam at the barn the next morning? Were there really black men in Milam’s pickup that evening? If so, who were they and what had happened to them? Finally, how long did Emmett Till remain alive that night, and exactly when, where, why and how did his murder take place? (Metress 90)

Comment [AB10]: Do you think that it would help to provide some historical context before you explain your plot? Consider that you audience needs to understand the history surrounding your plot before they can understand how you are engaging with that history. Also, consider the fact that you need to establish yourself as an authority on this topic. Comment [TR11]: Changed ‘average people”. I also added backup information for “most people”!

Comment [AB12]: Your tone is appropriate, and I can see that you are trying to “sell” your concept, but consider what your language is actually doing in the passage. If you read carefully, you will see that you don’t actually provide any information or a substantial reason why your audience should care about your concept, nor do you establish a clear purpose for your concept. Rather than using empty language to make your appeal, show substance. Use the actual concept you have generated to make the appeal rather than using empty rhetoric. In addition to this, consider your purpose – the social/political issues, themes, and questions surrounding your concept. How are you engaging with these points? What do you want your audience to gain? Comment [AB13]: I see that you are providing context now.

Comment [AB14]: I like the way you presented these points. Not only does it inform, but the passage also poses questions that the reader should in fact be asking. That said, more context about the event could be provided.

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I think it is safe to say that these questions all deserved to be answered. Although it has been well over fifty years, I still don’t feel it is okay for someone to get away with murder. You are probably still questioning how I have planned this entire story out to get my point across. It’s simple; every story has at least two sides. One of those sides was never truly brought to light and I feel as though she was the most important character in its entirety. My story will include the characters that no one knew about throughout the whole case, but all are equally important. My story would include the lovely, Carolyn Bryant, Roy’s wife as the narrator. Carolyn would proceed to tell her story and how she is the main reason any of this has happened. I feel throughout this whole process, Carolyn has the most to say over anyone and I don’t feel as though she came forth with any information at all. As Carolyn as my narrator, I am going to portray her as knowing the rest of the untold story. She knows more than anyone in this case solely because she was married to Roy when it all happened and quickly divorced him after the incident. Why did she get a divorce? Did she know Roy was guilty, or did she have part in the murder herself. Lynching at its Finest would also include Carolyn’s lover, Samuel Whittaker, a African-American man lover that no one was aware of. He would serve as a huge part in the story as well because he was the reason all this has happened in the first place. I would also have a smaller character named Jamie Sanchez, Carolyn’s Hispanic best friend that Roy forbids Carolyn to spend any time with. Lynching at its Finest would start off with a scene where Carolyn and Roy are laying in bed enjoying a nice movie. It’s getting later and later and Carolyn is impatiently waiting for her husband Roy to fall asleep. 3:30 A.M finally rolls around and Carolyn grabs her light jacket and her running shoes and quietly heads to her car. Carolyn then proceeds to drive down the dark road knowing that she is about to commit adultery for the tenth
Comment [AB18]: The characters sound interesting, but what exactly do they offer the reader in terms of insight within the event? These figures could be developed more. Comment [AB19]: You are beginning the plot, but the purpose of your narrative is still hazy. Comment [TR17]: I added backup information as to why Carolyn should be my narrator. Comment [AB16]: Explain what this narrator is offering the audience in more detail and what you hope to illuminate through her narrative. Comment [AB15]: I get that you think murder is wrong (which it is, of course), but I don’t feel like you have developed a perspective on this event quite yet. What exactly is the purpose and point of view your are offering?

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time. Once she finally arrives to her lover’s house, she receives a phone from her neighbor asking where she ran off to this early in the morning. Carolyn and her husband live in a small town in Mississippi where everyone watches each other. You can’t make any moves without someone knowing what you are doing. As sneaky as Carolyn is, she calmly lies and tells her neighbor that she is just going down to the lake to enjoy the nice, fresh August breeze. Her neighbor didn’t believe her for a second. She sat for a second and contemplated whether or not to get involved, but she couldn’t resist herself. She quickly runs next door to wake Roy up to tell him what Carolyn is up to. The nosey neighbor pounds on the door as if she were the police to wake Roy Bryant up. Half-sleep Roy quickly jumps out of bed and rushes to the door to find out what all the commotion was for. After the nosey neighbor tells Roy that Carolyn is up to no good, he rubs his eyes, stretches, and calmly says he’ll handle this when he has a clear head. Roy then decides to crawl back a in bed and plots on how to catch his sneaky wife in the act. He decides to dig a little deeper and starts off by listening in on Carolyn’s phone call with her good friend Jamie. Roy hears a few things that not only make him sick to his stomach, but he then proceeds to get more information on this mystery man. He finds letters the Carolyn wrote to Samuel saying she wanted to leave Roy and how she didn’t love him anymore. After weeks of trying to find this mystery man, Roy then finds out that this mystery man is a black man. Although Roy was already racist, this situation added fuel to the fire. Roy proceeds on making a promise with his friend by saying the next nigger to look twice at his wife will be sorry. My first intent for this story was for the over thirty crowd because I felt that they would be mature enough in a sense to handle a story like this. With deliberation, I feel like this story needs to be marketed towards high school age kids and above. I felt that was a good starting age
Comment [AB21]: Notice how overwhelming this paragraph is. Look for logical places to create paragraph breaks. Also the plot sounds good, but yet again, I must point out that I cannot see what you are trying to achieve through this narrative. What issues, themes, and questions do you want to explore? Comment [TR20]: I added a paragraph break.

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because high school kids should be able to be open to different point of views and should be prepared for what the world has to offer. The world isn’t all about roses and butterflies, and teenagers should know that before they go off to college. They should be able to have an open mind and realize that racism still exists whether it is against blacks, whites, or even Hispanics. Lynching at its Finest will force mature adults and young adults to think outside the box and help them realize the difference of right and wrong and to help remind them all that stories do indeed have more than one side. Every side should be heard and even the minor details should never be left off. The smallest details may save someone’s life one day. My film could offer a lot to the public. There are a lot of aspects in history today that we aren’t aware of because no one takes the time to shed some light on it. The murder of Emmett Till isn’t just any “regular” murder. Emmett was murder because of an idiotic reason and is still to this day, unanswered. High school aged kids, at this point, should have the mentality to handle political issues such as this one with an open mind. My viewers would gain a lot from this that they could take with them everywhere, not just in classrooms. Although, I want to educate my audience, I also want to invite my viewers to look at life in a new perspective. I want them to realize that being open mined will get you further in life. Thinking for yourself and creating your own ideas is much more impactful than just stating facts. I would hope to make a difference in the way our new generation thinks instead of following a standard bubble sheet or reading comprehension. The tools you need with everyday tasks are much more significant than what you learn in a classroom. With that being said, my movie will want viewers to have an open mind and it will impact them for the rest of their lives. You’re never too young or old to learn something new.
Comment [TR24]: I added this whole paragraph. Hopefully, this brings better closure for what I wanted to achieve. Comment [AB23]: Your conclusion would be a lot more impactful if you took the time to explain what it is that your film can offer to your viewer and the marketable components. As of now, the conclusion does not really offer a solid reason for why your viewer should want to see the film or why the executives should want to purchase this concept. Comment [AB22]: You could be more specific here. Imagine how your appeals could have more impact if you references specific components of your product. Consider the content of your concept, the issues it engages with, the characters it depicts, and the overall perspective it offers. How are these elements appealing to your audience? As of now, I’m not sure that you have a strong sense of audience.

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Works Cited Metress, Christopher . The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentary Narrative. The University of Virginia Press , 2002. Print.

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Concept Board: “The Pitch” Essay

Name:

Formatting & MLA Conventions

Formatting: Did the writer format their paper using MLA conventions? Research, Citation, & Source Management: Did the writer use research to reinforce their pitch? Did the writer paraphrase effectively? Did the writer use direct quotes effectively? Did the writer use in-text citation when necessary? Did the writer create a works cited page?

Yes X

Sort of

No

Yes X X X X X

Sort of

No

The Content of Your Concept

Purpose: Does the writer’s purpose statement address the following points: Does the writer explain what they want to achieve? Does the writer explain why they want to achieve this purpose? Does the writer explain how achieving this purpose will fulfill a consumer need?

Yes

Sort of X X X

No

Inspiration: Does the writer clearly explain the inspiration for their concept? Does the writer use research to reinforce this explanation? Yes Sort of X X No

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Setting/Universe: Does the writer provide a strong sense of time and place? Does the writer provide a sense of the culture of their setting? Does the writer use research to authenticate their setting? Yes Sort of No X X X Plot/Story: Does the writer provide a strong sense of plot’s movement? Does the writer explain the social issues, themes, and conflicts that will drive the narrative? Yes X X Characters: Does the writer explain who major characters are? Does the writer explain the characters’ roles in the narrative? Does the writer explain the characters’ perspectives and views? Does the writer present “round” characters (rather than “flat”)? Yes X X X X Sort of No Sort of No

Audience & Marketing With Regard to Audience & Marketing Tactics: Does the writer identify the specific audience they are targeting? Does the writer explain how they are appealing to this audience? Does the writer present awareness of competitors/similar
products

Yes X

Sort of

No

X X X X X

Does the writer pose why their product is different or unique? Overall, has the writer shown a strong understanding of audience? Overall, has the writer shown how they are using multiple means to appeal to that audience and market their product?

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Your Writing as a Whole

With Regard to Your Writing: Does the writer maintain the appropriate tone? Does the introduction provide context & engage the reader? Does the essay present clear sentence structure? Does the essay present clear narrative structure & sequencing? Does the essay use transitions to indicate topical shifts? Does the essay place emphasis on detail and fully developed ideas? Does the essay pose correct grammar and spelling? Does the essay look proofread? Does the conclusion actually bring closure to the essay? Yes X X X X X X X X X Sort of No