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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 ….

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“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 till
Emmett Till Emmett Till.”

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 mom
Emmett & Mom Emmett Till.”

Emmett and Mamie Till

Reverend Moses Wright Emmett Till.”

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.

Bryant Grocery Emmett Till.”

Where the “crime” took place.

The store was owned by whites but serviced mostly black farmers and sharecroppers.

Carolyn Bryant Emmett Till.”

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.

What happened next
What happened next? Emmett Till.”

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”.

What happened next1
What happened next? Emmett Till.”

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!

Tallahatchie river
Tallahatchie River Emmett Till.”

  • What happened that night?

  • It is said that several men went out to find ‘that boy’.

  • Rev. Moses said, “He was put in a pickup truck and driven off into the night”

  • “A young white boy who was fishing found the body hung up on a snag in the river three days later.”

  • The body was weighted down with a 80 pound fan. It was shot, one eye was hanging out of it’s socket, the neck broken, teeth knocked out, and barbed wire wrapped around the neck.

Emmett’s Funeral Emmett Till.”

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 Emmett Till.”

This is how the body looked after being beaten, shot, and left in a river.

Courtroom Emmett Till.”

Within two hours the all white jury came back with a verdict against the men who were on trial – “NOT GUILTY”

Fair trial
Fair Trial? Emmett Till.”

J.W. Milam (left) and Roy Bryant (right) and their wives celebrate the verdict of not guilty!

Emmett’s Grave Marker celebrate the verdict of not guilty!

Mamie till today
Mamie Till today celebrate the verdict of not guilty!

Today celebrate the verdict of not guilty!

  • The case still is in the news.

  • “The trial was a farce and nothing has been done since the 50’s”, says the FBI

  • Today the story has been made into a movie – “The story of Emmett Louis Till”. It tells of evidence never given at the trial.