Emmett Till relatives gather at grave 60 years after murder that galvanized …

29 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Emmett Till honoured today 60 years after killing sparked civil rights movement.

ALSIP, Ill. – Relatives and civil rights activists gathered at the gravesite of Emmett Till to remember the black Chicago teenager 60 years after he was killed for whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. In 1955, when 14-year-old Emmett Till traveled from his home in Chicago to stay with a great-uncle in Tallahatchie County, Miss., his mother was nervous. They’re also trying to continue the legacy of his late mother, Mamie Till Mobley, who worked with young people and encouraged them to challenge injustice in their everyday lives.

In 1862, the Second Battle of Bull Run (also known as Second Manassas) began in Prince William County, Virginia, during the Civil War; the result was a Confederate victory. It’s a message that Deborah Watts, a distant cousin of Till’s, sees as relevant amid the killings in recent years of unarmed young black men such as Trayvon Martin in Florida and Tamir Rice in Ohio. In 1922, the first-ever radio commercial aired on station WEAF in New York City; the 10-minute advertisement was for the Queensboro Realty Co., which had paid a fee of $100. Deborah Watts of Minneapolis, sits in a Jackson, Miss., hotel on Thursday, and speaks about events in Mississippi and Illinois this week that commemorate the 60th anniversary of the slaying of her cousin, Emmett Till. (Rogelio V.

When we see the case of Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown or Tamir Rice, where young Black males are shot down by authority figures and nobody’s punished, it reminds us of the most celebrated case where a Black teen was killed and nobody was brought to justice.” History notes that Till was with a group of teenagers who had stopped at a local grocery store to buy snacks when he broke Mississippi’s racial code of conduct. In 1964, two days of race-related rioting erupted in North Philadelphia over a false rumor that white police officers had beaten to death a pregnant black woman. An all-white jury acquitted the defendants (the husband and brother-in-law of the woman who complained about Till), who later confessed to the killing in a raw, unremorseful interview with Look magazine. In 1972, Mark Spitz of the United States won the first two of his seven gold medals at the Munich Olympics, finishing first in the 200-meter butterfly and anchoring the 400-meter freestyle relay. One said that they had intended only to beat the teen, but decided to kill him when he showed no fear — and refused to grovel. “Well, what else could we do?

So it was in this space that four days after his alleged “crime,” Till was kidnapped in the wee hours of the morning on August 28, 1955 by two white men, Roy Bryant, husband of Carolyn Bryant, the store clerk Till allegedly whistled at, and J.W. In 1995, a mortar shell tore through a crowded market in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, killing some three dozen people and triggering NATO airstrikes against the Bosnian Serbs.

As long as I live and can do anything about it, [n—–s] are gonna stay in their place.” Because Milam and his accomplice had already been tried once for Till’s murder, the public confession did not yield more charges. Among those scheduled to participate in a Till memorial dinner Friday in Chicago are Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; and Michael Brown Sr., the father of Michael Brown Jr., whose slaying last year led to protests of police action in Ferguson, Mo.

But it provoked national outrage and became as powerful a catalyst in the civil rights movement as Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat just a few months later. As the Los Angeles Times later put it: “If Rosa Parks showed the potential of defiance, [some historians] say, Emmett Till’s death warned of a bleak future without it.” Sixty years later, at a time when race relations are once more at the front of the American mind, Till’s name is still invoked as a reminder of the worst consequences of ignoring the problem. The small Emmett Till Interpretive Center opened across the street from the courthouse, and it has attracted school and church groups from across the country. “We get to understand that race and racism are not something unique to the Mississippi Delta,” Weems said. “It’s an issue that faces the entire nation.” U.S. and Afghan forces repelled attackers wearing American uniforms and suicide vests in a pair of simultaneous assaults before dawn on NATO bases near the Pakistan border. Both the book and the play were co-written by Till’s late mother, who became a prominent civil-rights figure following her son’s funeral, when she insisted on an open casket so the world could see what had been done to him.

One year ago: Comedian Joan Rivers was rushed to New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital after she suffered cardiac arrest at a doctor’s office where she’d gone for a routine outpatient procedure (Rivers died a week later at age 81). Acknowledging he “didn’t get it right” with a two-game suspension for Ravens running back Ray Rice, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced tougher penalties for players accused of domestic violence, including six weeks for a first offense and at least a year for a second. But what was surprising was the bravery and courage of Till’s uncle Mose Wright, who stood up during the trial and pointed to Bryant and Milam as the men who had kidnapped Till. In doing so, Wright put his own life in danger and immediately left Mississippi soon after. “Understanding the context in the South at that time, for him to do that was nothing short of courageous,” says Paula Johnson, law professor and co-director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University. Emmett Till’s murder galvanized an activist movement of that which continues today.” Indeed, during the Movement for Black Lives conference in Cleveland this summer, activists of the Black Lives Matter movement honored the families of civil rights martyrs.

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