The Last Oblation Emmett Till
On this day seventy four years ago Louis and Mamie Till Mobley had a son named Emmett in Chicago, Illinois in 1941. Louis Till was a soldier who died in World War II. Mamie would have a short time with her son Emmett. At the age of five he was stricken with polio. Eventually he recovered but he had a slight stutter. Emmett was known to family and friends by his nickname "Bobo." Mamie Till was a hard working single mother determined to give her son a happy and fulfilling life. He attended an all-black school called McCosh Elementary School not too far from his home. He grew up in a middle class black neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. In this area there were many black owned- establishments and they were successful. He resided in a different environment in comparison to his family in the Deep South.
|Louis Till's Ring
Roy & J.W. beat Emmett brutally, dragged him to the bank of the Tallahatchie River, shot him in the head, tied him barbed wire to large metal fan and shoved his mutilated body in the river. His body was found in the river three days later. A local man fishing found his body. The only way Moses Wright was able to identify his nephew's body was by examining the ring on his finger.
|Mamie Till distraught next to her son's body in the box car.
The Aftermath & Trial
Mamie Till Mobley refused to have her son buried on Southern soil, the same soil where he was murdered. She traveled home to Chicago with body in the box car of a train. She held an open-casket funeral for five days at Roberts Temple Church of God. After the funeral she returned back to Money, Mississippi. On September 23, 1955, the panel of white jurors deliberated in sixty seven minutes and acquitted Roy Bryant & J.W. Milam of all charges In January 1956 they did admit to the crime they committed in Look Magazine for $4,000. Emmett's death served as the catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement. Emmett's murder was featured in major publications and gained international attention. Other countries criticized the barbaric violence America exacted upon African Americans. His mother remained an advocate for justice and fought to preserve his memory until her death in 2003. Later in life Mamie Till stated that she believed Emmett's death served as a sacrifice to spark social change. It was one way she found solace in the pain ordeal. In September 2015 Devery S. Anderson's book Emmett Till The Murder that Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement will be released.
Eyes on the Prize (Documentary)
Coursework in African American Studies
Toni's Thoughts: It has been approximately sixty years since he was murdered. As the #BlackLivesMatter Movement continues to move on everyday black people are still being murdered due to racism. I am aware some progress was made during the Civil Rights Movement but I am starting to believe most of the work the activists fought for has become moot. In sixty years not much has changed. Sandra Bland was brutally attacked before dying a in jail cell. The Charleston 9 were slaughtered during Bible Study. At this point all I can do is pray and remain a discerning person.