president Joe Biden This week Emmett Till and his mother Mamie Till-Mobley are honored by signing a proclamation establishing a national monument on what would have marked the 82nd birthday of the black teenager murdered in 1955.
That’s what a White House official said The Associated Press that the memorial will span three locations in Illinois, where Till grew up, and Mississippi, where he was killed.
The Chicago boy was just 14 when he was kidnapped, brutally tortured and killed in Money, Mississippi, where Till was visiting his family, after he was accused of referencing a white woman, Carolyn Bryant. The woman’s husband, along with another man, kidnapped, beat and shot Till before throwing the child’s body into the Tallahatchie River.
Mamie Till-Mobley insisted on showing her son’s mutilated body in an open casket, and “Jet magazine’s decision to publish photos of his mutilated body helped jumpstart the civil rights movement,” the AP reported.
The teenager’s killers were acquitted of murder by an all-white jury after Ms Bryant testified at a trial that Emmett grabbed and threatened her. In later years, juries twice declined to indict her, in 2007 and 2022. She died in Louisiana last year at the age of 88.
The memorials include the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Bronzeville, a historically black neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, where thousands gathered to mourn Till in September 1955. AP reported.
The Mississippi sites are Graball Landing, where Till’s mutilated body is believed to have been pulled from the Tallahatchie River, and the Tallahatchie County Second Circuit Courthouse in Sumner, where Till’s killers were tried and acquitted.
After her son’s murder and the verdict, Mamie Till – who later married Gene Mobley – became an outspoken civil rights advocate and worked as a teacher until her retirement in 1983. She died in 2003, still determined to tell her son’s story and to achieve greater social justice.
President Biden signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act into law last March, noting at the time that “no federal law — no federal law expressly prohibited lynching.” none. Til today.”
Addressing the Till family, Mr. Biden said, “We remain in awe of your courage to find meaning in your pain.” To find meaning through your pain. But the law is not only about the past, but also about the present and our future.
“From the bullets in the back of Ahmaud Arbery to countless other acts of violence — countless victims known and unknown — the same racial hatred that drove the mob to hang up a noose drove that mob out of the fields of Charlottesville with torches just a few years ago.”
“Racial hatred is not an old problem; It’s an ongoing problem. A persistent problem. And I know a lot of the civil rights activists here know, and you’ve heard me say it a hundred times, hate never goes away; it just hides. It hides under the rocks. And if you give him just a little oxygen, he’ll come out roaring and screaming. But what stops it is all of us, not a few. We all have to stop it.”