“There was just no way I could describe what was in that box. No way. And I just wanted the world to see.” -Mamie Carthan Till-Mobley
Emmett Till’s murder is one of the most significant moments in the history of civil rights. Emmett Till was an African-American boy who was murdered at the age of 14 in the year 1955. Emmett was murdered by Caucasian men for a “crime” that he did not commit.
(8:56) “He was accused of wolf-whistling at Carol Bryant, flirting with her, like grabbing her, just being super lewd with her, using lewd language, saying all of this stuff, saying, ‘Bye baby,’ when he was leaving.”
Emmett was kidnapped, pistol-whipped, beaten, shot, and anchored in the river. When Emmett’s body was found, he was unrecognizable. Emmett’s body was returned to his mother in Chicago to have a proper burial. Emmett’s mother chose to have an open-casket burial, making a major statement against the racism present in her son’s death.
Unfortunately due to double-jeopardy statutes, Emmett’s murderers were not convicted, acquitted of all charges despite the public knowledge of their guilt.
Emmett’s original casket now rests in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Listen to host Skye and guest Skyler discuss what most people missed in high school history class–the horrific murder of Emmett Till.