The lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till is one of the most heinous crimes ever committed, highlighting the cruel injustice suffered by Black Americans at the hands of racist Whites.
Till was killed August 28, 1955, following rumors that he was flirting with a White woman. The gruesome killing set the growing Civil Rights Movement into motion and a rallying cry was heard nationwide.
On August 24, 1955, it was rumored that he flirted with a White cashier at a local store, which was a huge offence at the time. This speculation led to two White men kidnapping Till, later beating him, and shooting him dead.
Till’s disfigured body was discovered by some boys fishing three days after he was kidnapped. The body was identified by his uncle, and his mother demanded the body be sent to Chicago. Newspapers across the nation covered the story, and Black organizations, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) were angered at the findings.
His mother’s decision to leave the casket open at the funeral left the world with the jarring image of her son’s body, which was hardly recognizable. Her aim was to let the world know the vicious attack on her son.
Later, Ms. Till would say that she realized her son’s death helped the Civil Rights Movement rise to prominence. Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and several other powerful Black figures would reference Till’s savage murder.
Mamie Till passed away January 6, 2003. Take a look at a video of her emotionally describing how her son looked when she saw him the first time after his horrific and sinister murder.