Emmett Louis Till was a 14-year-old African American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store. The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the United States. Till posthumously became an icon of the civil rights movement. Till was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. During summer vacation in August 1955, he was visiting relatives near Money, in the Mississippi Delta region. He spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the white married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Although what happened at the store is a matter of dispute, Till was accused of flirting with or whistling at Bryant. In 1955, Bryant had testified that Till made physical and verbal advances. The jury did not hear Bryant’s testimony, due to the judge ruling it inadmissible.
|Born:||Emmett Louis Till, July 25, 1941, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|Died:||August 28, 1955, Money, Mississippi, U.S.|
|Cause of death:||Lynching|
|Resting place:||Burr Oak Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois|
|Education:||James McCosh Elementary School|
|Parent(s):||Mamie Carthan Till-Mobley, Louis Till|
About Emmett Till
African-American youth who was beaten and murdered for talking to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, a white woman, in 1955. His murder and subsequent trial were pivotal events in the instigation of the African-American Civl Rights Movement and were covered heavily in the 1987 Emmy award-winning series Eyes on the Prize.
He attended McCosh Elementary School.
Carolyn’s husband, Roy, and his half-brother Milam abducted 14-year-old Till, removed one of his eyes, and shot him before tying a 70-pound cotton gin fan to his neck with barbed wire and dumping him in the Tallahatchie River.
His mother insisted that he had a public funeral with an open casket to publicize his death.
Bryant and Milam were acquitted of his murder, although they admitted to killing him in a magazine interview. The trial added momentum to the Civil Rights Movement, which was led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Information related to Emmett Till
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- People murdered in Mississippi
- African-American history of Mississippi
- Burials in Illinois
- History of civil rights in the United States
- Racially motivated violence against African Americans
- Murdered African-American people
- Murdered American children
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