The Death of Emmet Till

emmet till
emmet till




Emmet Till was born in Chicago on July 25, 1941. He lived with his mother Mamie Till and never knew his father,Louis Till because he passed away in World War 2. Emmet grew up in a black middle class neighborhood but around that time business was good for African Americans and black owned establishments thrived. Relatives and people he grew up around called him Bobo. He attended McCosh Elementary School and was loved by many people because of his outgoing and funny personality. He was always willing to help his mother help take care of their home.
Emmet Till was in 8th grade in august 1955 when his great uncle Moses Write paid him and his family a visit from Missisippi and agreed to take Emmet's cousin,Wheeler back to Mississippi with him. Emmet decided he wanted to go even though his mother already had plans for him over the summer. His mother warned him about the racism in Money,Mississippi and told him not to go up there and do something mischevious
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When Emmet finally got up there he had a nice time with his family and cousins. One day he was hanging outside of a grocery store with some friends he showed them a picture of a white girl and told them that was his girlfriend. His friends did not beleive him and dared him to go inside the grocery store and speak to the white women in the store. He didn't want the boys to think he couldn't do it and went inside the store and brought some candy, on his way out he said to the women "bye baby". A few days later the women's husband Roy Bryant arrived at the uncle's house and told him that "the fat boy from Chicago" had disrespected his wife.They dragged Emmet to the back of their truck and drove him to the Tallahatchie River, among arriving therwe they planned to torch and kill him.
First they made him carry a 75 pound cotton gin fan to the riverbank. They then ordered him to strip, beat him severely and then gouged out the child’s eyes. Bryant then shot Emmett through the back of his head and again through the body. The boy’s body was then wrapped in barbed wire and connected to the cotton gin fan, which was then thrown in the river.

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The body was found by the Police on Wednesday, August 31. He was so badly beaten that Emmett could only be identified by the ring that was on his finger. But this was not to be. Emmett’s mother insisted that the body be returned to Chicago where she decided to have an open casket funeral. This would allow the whole world to see what white racists had done to her son.
Two weeks after the funeral, Roy Bryant and his brother-in-law J.W. Milam went on trial for the murder. The old man who had been approached by the two at his cabin, Moses Wright, bravely identified the two men who had kidnapped Emmett. Despite this, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty after an hour’s deliberation, claiming that the State failed to prove the identity of the body.
The world reacted with disbelieve and then anger. Mississippi was condemned in the newspapers as being a city that condoned the murder of white children. The black people around The United States were especially incensed. The death of Emmett Till, senseless and horrible as it was, however, did serve a purpose. It became a rallying point and a wake up call for a generation of young Black southerners who, a decade later, would become the moving force behind the civil rights movement.


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