Emmett Till: the case that spurred the Civil Rights movement
July 25, 2012
Today marks what would have been the 71st birthday of Emmett Louis Till, the 14-year-old black Chicago youth who became the catalyst that sparked the American Civil Rights Movement.
In August 1955, Till went to visit his southern relatives in the Mississippi Delta. In less than a week’s time, he would be abducted from his great-uncle’s home, tortured and then murdered for one of the oldest taboos of the South: whistling at a white woman in public.
Two men, J.W. Milam and his half-brother Roy Bryant (the woman’s husband), were soon arrested but later acquitted in a court of law by an all-white, all-male jury, awakening the “Sleeping Giant” of the black global community.
His mother, Mamie, insisted on an open casket funeral so that thousands could see the horrifying effects of racism & violence in the South. Till’s murder became known as the epitome of white supremacy that rallied the Civil Rights Movement to fight for justice & equality.
Click here to watch Emmett Till’s cousin, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, speak about Till’s legacy & the fight against racism.