Celebrating Balck History Month
The first time I saw Emmett Till’s disfigured body was in Jet Magazine. It was either for Black History Month or the anniversary of his death. I cannot recall. All I know is that while it was gruesome and scary, I could not stop looking at it. I wanted to know more then what the article told me about this boy who died at the age I was when I was reading about him in the magazine. It would be many years and lots of reading later that I got the just of what had happened to this young boy. How gruesome and unnecessary his killing had been all because of a whistle and a lie.
Sheriff Clarence Strider wanted to have Till’s body buried right away because he didn’t want anyone to know exactly what happened to Till. Phone calls were made, and people were put in place and Till’s body was snuck out of Mississippi on a train and overseen by the Pullman Porters.
Once in Chicago, Till’s body was handed over to A.A. Raynor who was ordered not to open the pine box that the body was placed in. Till-Mobley insisted on having the box opened as well as the casket at her son’s funeral.
The two white men accused of killing Till were found not guilty and later admitted to the murder, but could not be retried due to double-jeopardy.
In 2017 Carolyn Bryant, the wife and the store owner who Till whistled at admitted that she had lied. Because Bryant was not the one who committed the murder she could not be tried because while there is no statute of limitation on murder, there is on perjury and it had run out.
Mamie Till-Mobley writes a heart-breaking tale of her young son’s life and death in her book Death of Innocence.
”Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.”
– Oprah Winfrey