The Murder of Emmett Till. “I was tired and sat in the first available seat.” Rosa was tired of the mistreatment, racism, segregation, and Jim Crow laws she and other African-Americans had endured for years as she sat looking out the window ….
The Murder of Emmett Till
“I was tired and sat in the first available seat.”
Rosa was tired of the mistreatment, racism, segregation, and Jim Crow laws she and other African-Americans had endured for years as she sat looking out the window …
“The only thing Rosa Parks thought about was the boy, Emmett Till.”
December 1, 1955: Rosa had been sitting in an area designated for African-Americans
The bus driver told her to move or I’ll call the police. She said “Call them”.
Emmett spent time begging his mother to let him go visit relatives in Mississippi. Emmett and his mother lived in Chicago .
His mother finally relented and told him to “Be careful and bow to a white person and do it willingly.”
Emmett and Mamie Till
Reverend Moses Wright
Moses, Emmett’s granduncle, was excited to have him come for a visit. On August 20, 1955, Emmett and his 17 year old cousin, Curtis, boarded a train bound for Money, Mississippi.
Where the “crime” took place.
The store was owned by whites but serviced mostly black farmers and sharecroppers.
When a group of black teenagers – Emmett included, arrived at the store, Emmett had been bragging about his experiences with girls in Chicago. Emmett then struck up a conversation with Carolyn Bryant.
There have been many versions since the 50s. Some accounts say Emmett told Mrs. Bryant… “I’ve got something for you baby”. Others say he just uttered crude remarks. Carolyn testified at the trial that he said “What’s the matter baby, can’t you take it? You needn’t be afraid of me.”
His friends pulled Emmett away from the store but he whistled as he left and say “Bye baby”.
The others were now truly afraid. Having grown up in Mississippi they knew what constituted unacceptable behavior in race relations.
A black youth making any type of sexual advances to a white woman was a blatant and dangerous violation of the unspoken code of the south. There could only be one punishment. - Death!
The coffin was intentionally left open, a decision made by Mamie Till who wanted the world to see what they had done to her son.
Emmett’s Open Casket
This is how the body looked after being beaten, shot, and left in a river.
Within two hours the all white jury came back with a verdict against the men who were on trial – “NOT GUILTY”
J.W. Milam (left) and Roy Bryant (right) and their wives celebrate the verdict of not guilty!
Emmett’s Grave Marker