The Murder of Emmett Till



Emmett till his tragic murder in one thousand nine hundred fifty five is a monumental moment in civil rights history. The African American teenager was tortured tortured shot wrapped in barbed wire and tossed in a river by white men seeking revenge for what till had allegedly whistled at a white woman in a grocery store when till's mother Mamie Elizabeth till mobely viewed his lifeless body swollen beyond recognition his teeth missing and I hanging out the only thing she could use to positively identify him was a the ring he was wearing Lord. Take my soul she cried according to a two thousand three interview with The Washington Post in her grief and outrage. Till's mother wanted the world to see the barbaric act committed against her son. She called the Chicago defender under one of the country's leading black newspapers she called Ebony and jet magazines too and she invited them to his funeral on the south outside of Chicago then. Maybe did something that would change history. She asked for an open casket skit at his funeral. I think everybody needed to know what happened to Emmett till his mother said according to PBS fifty thousand people attended the funeral in saw till's body the evidence of a vicious and hateful attack though open open caskets were an African American tradition. Till's body presented challenges not just in how he appeared but also and this is hard to say how badly it smelled. Simeon Wright till's cousin told Smithsonian magazine that the funeral home scrambled for a solution finally settling on the extraordinary step of putting glass over the casket to contain the odor otherwise right said no no one would have believed what till endured the result was profound the emotional photos from the funeral showed Mamie as she approached her son's casket. Her body seemed to buckle. Photographers captured her leaning over the casket to which photos of the smiling boy had been taped inside inside the litter. The funeral gave the nation in image. It hadn't yet seen what a lynching really looked like the brutality the anguish the sheer sense of wrong in this Massoni interview right said the photos led to renewed vigor in the fight against racist and a few months later a woman named Rosa Parks refused to give her seat on the white section of a bus prompting a year long bus boycott in Alabama led by an up and coming leader in the civil rights movement and the Reverend Martin Luther King Junior King may till's murder a centerpiece of his sermons and speeches the crying voice of Little Emmett till he'd say screaming from the rushing waters the evil of racial injustice the justice.

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