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Emmit Till

August 28, 1955. Money, Mississippi. 14 year old Emmett Till traveled from Illinois to Mississippi to visit relatives. Just a couple of days later he went to a grocery store with friends and relatives to buy some gum. One of the owners, Carolyn Bryant, was working that day and ended up running out after Till allegedly flirted with her and made her uncomfortable. Roy Bryant, her husband, found out about the situation and he, along with his half-brother, went to the home where Till was staying and kidnapped him. Three days later, Till's body was found in the Tallahatchie River. He was identified by the signet ring bearing his father's initials. A proper identification could not be made due to the horrific abuse he had been subjected to prior to his death as well as being left in the water for three days. Emmett Till was murdered because he was black. Join us as we discuss racism, inequality, and injustice in 1955.

 

Sources

The Murder of Emmett Till Timeline PBS

The Trial of J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant Article PBS

Brave Testimony Article PBS

Getting Away with Murder Article PBS

Mamie Till Mobley Article PBS

Emmett Till Interpretive Center Website

Louis Till Find a Grave 7/2/1945

Emmett Louis Till Find a Grave 8/28/1955

Murder charge due against two in death of negro boy UPI 9/1/1955

Mose “Preacher” Wright Find a Grave 1973

J.W. Milam Find a Grave 12/30/1980

Roy Bryant, Sr. Find a Grave 9/1/1994

Mamie Elizabeth Carthan Mobley Find a Grave 1/6/2003

Justice Department To Investigate 1955 Emmett Till Murder Department of Justice 5/10/2004

The Ghosts of Emmett Till The New York Times 7/31/2005

Son thinks dad needs to clear conscience in Till case Chicago Tribune 8/19/2005

How Photos Became Icon of Civil Rights Movement The New York Times 8/28/2005

Need to heal marks brutal anniversary Chicago Tribune 8/29/2005

South Side School Named for Emmett Till Chicago Citizen 3/1/2006

Re-examining Emmett Till case could help separate fact, fiction USA Today 2/19/2007

End of Till case draws mixed response The Boston Globe 3/3/2007

Smithsonian’s African American History Museum Acquires Emmett Till Casket Washington Post 8/27/2009

Eyewitness Account: Emmett Till’s cousin Simeon Wright seeks to set the record straight Chicago Magazine 12/18/2009

Willie Louis dies at 76; witness to 1955 murder of Emmett Till Los Angeles Times 7/24/2013

Widow of Emmett Till killer dies quietly, notoriously USA Today 2/27/2014

Emmett Till’s Open Casket Funeral Reignited the Civil Rights Movement Smithsonian 9/2/2015

Emmett Till memorial sign scarred by bullet holes CNN 10/22/2016

The Eerie Tragedy of Emmett Till’s Father, Told by John Edgar Wideman The New York Times 12/14/2016

How Author Timothy Tyson Found the Woman at the Center of the Emmett Till Case Vanity Fair 1/26/2017

Family of Emmett Till’s Cousin release Official Statement on His Passing Chicago Defender 9/7/2017

Emmett Till’s mother opened his casket and sparked the civil rights movement The Washington Post 7/12/2018

Emmett Till Sign Is Hit With Bullets Again, 35 Days After Being Replaced The New York Times 8/6/2018

Emmett Till’s Murder, and How America Remembers Its Darkest Moments The New York Times 2/20/2019 (helpful photos)