In 1955 a black Chicago teenager, Emmett Louis Till, 14, whistled at a Caucasian woman in Money, Miss. Several days later on August 27, 1995 Emmett disappeared. He was eventually located on the bottom of a river wired to a factory fan. He had been beaten and shot in the head. Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam, were tried for murder and acquitted by an all-white jury. They sold their story to Look magazine for $4,000. "Emmett had a stuttering problem when he had difficulty pronouncing certain words, so his mother taught him to whistle when he couldn't pronounce a word," said Roosevelt Crawford, a retired General Motors plant inspector. - Detroit News -- Mamie Mobley, Emmett's mother, had his coffin open at his funeral so people would know the extent of his injuries. Mamie, 81, died on Jan. 6 2003, in Chicago. Mamie's memories.
The Justice Department announced May 2004, this case would be reopened due to information uncovered in filmmaker Keith Beauchamp's PBS documentary The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till. NPR's Travis Smiley talks with, Beauchamp, Emmett's cousin Simeon Wright and trial attorney Raymond Brown.
American Experience - The Murder of Emmett Till -- In Money, Mississippi, Emmett Till, 14, from Chicago, didn't know the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South until two men dragged him from his bed, brutally beat him and shot him in the head. Shortly after his killers were both acquitted the defendants sold their story, including a detailed account of how they murdered Till. Till's death was a spark that helped to mobilize the civil rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, the Montgomery bus boycott began.
Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case by Chris Crowe -- The kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till is famous as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement. Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old Black teenager from Chicago, was visiting family in a small town in Mississippi during the summer of 1955. Emmett allegedly whistled at a white woman. Three days later his brutally beaten body was found floating in the Tallahatchie River. Although the two white men were tried and acquitted by an all-white jury, they later bragged publicly about the crime. It was a galvanizing moment for Black leaders and ordinary citizens, including such activists as Rosa Parks. In clear, vivid detail Chris Crowe investigates the before-and-aftermath of the crime, as well as the dramatic court trial, and places it into the context of the nascent Civil Rights Movement. With lively narrative and abundantly illustrated with forty fascinating contemporaneous photographs.
Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America MAMIE TILL-MOBLEY Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till- galvanized the
civil rights movement, leaving an indelible mark on American racial consciousness. Mamie Carthan was an ordinary African-American woman growing up in 1930s Chicago, living under the strong, steady influence of her mother's care. She married Louis Till, and while the marriage didn't last, they did have a beautiful baby boy, Emmett. In August 1955, Emmett was visiting Mississippi when he was
brutally murdered. His mother began her career of activism when she insisted on an open-casket viewing of her son's gruesomely disfigured body. More than a hundred thousand people attended the service. The trial of J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, was considered the first full-scale media event of the civil rights movement. Mamie Till-Mobley would pull herself back from the brink of suicide to become
a teacher and inspire black children throughout the country.
Mamie Till-Mobley died as she completed this memoir.
"I focused on my son while I considered this book. . . . The result is in your hands. . . . I am experienced, but not cynical. . . . I am hopeful that we all can be better than we are. I've been brokenhearted, but I still maintain an oversized capacity for love."
June 22, 2005