Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Emmett Till: The Ugly Face Of Racism

If you haven’t seen this picture before, it’s one that you won’t soon forget. That’s just the way Mamie Carthan wanted it to be in 1955. That was the year that her son Emmett Till was murdered down in the Mississippi Delta. Till was visiting from Chicago that summer and had reportedly flirted with a white woman. The 14 year-old was taken from a relative’s house in the middle of the night, pistol whipped and thrown into the back of a pick-up truck. Then he was taken to a barn where he was beaten. One of his eyes was gouged out and he was shot. A 70 pound cotton gin was tied around his neck and he was thrown into the Tallahatchie River. His body was found three days later. His mother requested an open-casket funeral so that the world could see and never forget the brutality of his murder.

The two men accused of the kidnapping and murder, Roy Bryant and J.W.Milam  were tried and acquitted. It was a gross case of racial injustice in the state of Mississippi. The two accused later admitted to the crimes in a magazine article, but they were unable to be re-tried because of Double Jeopardy. 


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