Saturday 29 August 2015

60th Anniversary of Emmett Till's murder

It was exactly 60 years ago that Emmett Till was abducted and murdered by Roy Bryant and his half-brother J. W. Milam from the Mississippi Delta town of Delta. The brutal murder and subsequent acquittal of the two men by an all white all male jury made headlines around the world and contributed to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. 

Emmett Till (1941- 1955)

Although neither of the murderers ever faced justice for the killing to which they confessed in an interview only weeks after their acquittal, the trial did witness the incredible bravery of Till's great-uncle Mose Wright and a young cotton picker, Willie Reed, who testified in court. Both had to leave Mississippi right after their court appearance for fear of retribution. 

The case gained national and international media attention partly because of the decision by Till's mother to have an open the casket at the public funeral service in Chicago. Whilst the image of Till's face at the time of the funeral is harrowing, her decision allowed Till's body to bear testimony to the incredible savagery of racial hatred. 

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