Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Mamie Mobley Till Dies

Mamie Mobley, 81, Dies; Son, Emmett Till, Slain in 1955

There may be some of you who are unfamiliar with the story of Emmet Till. Emmett was the fourteen year old son of a Chicago woman who went down to Mississipi to spend some time with his uncle in the summer of 1955. His mother had warned him that he had to be careful, but he was young and playful. He whistled a white woman, who later told her husband. The husband and his brother kidnapped Till from his uncle's house and three days later Emmet's body was found. He had been tortured and horribly beaten.

When Mamie came down for the funeral she insisted that the coffin remain open. For three days over 50,000 people filed past the coffin, as Mamie said most needed assistance to be carried away from it so great was the horror. JET magazine published the photo of Emmett's body on the cover of its magazine. The two men were tried and acquited by a jury of white people. Later they published their confession in LOOK magazine.

Till's death was one of them major flash points that led to the civil rights movement becoming a national movement. Mamie Till Mobley always kept her son's story in the forefront so that his death would not be in vain.