The Ugly Side of America, The Emmett Till Story

2021-07-01 17:06:22
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Boston College
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Research paper
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The birth of Emmett Till is reported to have been on 25th July 1941. His mother was Mamie Till while his father became Louis. Emmett never knew his father since Mamie and Louis separated in 1942 one year after Emmetts birth. His father was a private in the army of United States during the World War II. In 1945, Louis was executed from the army due to the willful misconduct while he was serving in the Italy. The mother of Emmitt was an extraordinary lady. She challenged the discrimination and the social constraints which she went through for being African-American lady when growing up in 1920-1930. (Houck, Davis W, and Matthew A,3).

Emmitt till grew up in a growing, middle-class black neighboring on the southern side of Chicago. The neighborhood became the refuge for the black-own businesses. The streets which Emmitt roamed during his childhood also became owned by the black insurance companies. The individuals who knew Emmett described him as being funny, responsible and infectious high spirited guy. During his age of 5, Emmitt got stricken with polio but managed to recover fully. Emmitt full gave assistance to his mother who worked for more than 12 hours daily especially in the domestic responsibilities. The schooling of Emmitt becomes recorded in McCosh Grammar School where he made many friends. His classmates knew him as a funny guy since he could leave his colleagues in laughter with his funny jokes.

Moses Wright, Emmett's great uncle visited the family in Chicago in August of 1955. Towards the end of Uncle Wright stay; Moses had a plan of taking Wheeler Parker who was a cousin to Emmitt with him to Mississippi where he came from. At this time, Emmitt was 14 years of age and upon realizing the plans of his uncle, he also begged his mother to allow him to go along with Moses. Emmitt's mother was initially against the idea. He tried to convince his son to give her company while making to Nebraska and Omaha. Since Emmitt was desperately in need to spend time in Mississippi with his cousins, he finally won his mother to his side. (Anderson, Devery S, and Julian Bond, 4). The decision later gave impact on their lives and the entire course of the American story.

In 1955, August 19th just before they left to Mississippi, Emmitt was given a signet ring of his father by her mother. The ring was engraved with initials "( L.T)". The next day, Emmitt got driven by his mother to 63rd street station in the country and that is where they kissed each other goodbye and being the last time stepping their eye on one another. On August of the same month after arriving in Money (Mississippi), Emmitt and his colleagues entered the meat market and grocery of Bryant to purchase the refreshments in the hot afternoon just after the long day picking of cotton. Emmitt bought a bubble gum and it was there that he got accused of touching the hand of the white female clerk. The lady was the wife of Carolyn Bryant the owner of the business.

On August 28th, 1955, at around 2.30 am Emmett, got kidnapped by Carolyn Bryant in collaboration with his half-brother named J.W Milam from Wright's home. Emmitt got brutally beaten and was drugged to the bank of Tallahatchie River by the two kidnappers. He got shot in the head and became tied with a barbed wire to a metal fan. His dead body then got shoved into the water. His uncle made the report concerning the disappearance of Emmitt to the local authorities. Three days after the report of the incidence, Emmitt's corpse got pulled from the river. The face of Till could not easily become recognized but his uncle managed using a ring which was on his finger. The ring was inscribed with the initials of his father. (L.F).

The body of Emmitt got driven to Chicago. Till's mother wanted the open-casket funeral in which the body of his son to be displayed for the duration of five days. Many people went to see the evidence of the brutality act. The aim of Emmitt mother for demanding open-casket funeral was to make the world have a look at what was done to his son. She persevered the pain. Two black publications, the Chicago Defender and the Jet Magazine printed the graphic images of Emmitt's corpse between his burial and the kidnapped. The trial started on September, 19th 1955 when the murder of Emmitt had already become the source of indignation and outrage all over the country and was caused mainly by the publication. By that time it was difficult for the blacks to accuse the white openly in the court and so Moses endangered his life when he identified Milam and Bryant for being responsible for the murder of Emmitt. The criminals became acquitted on September 23rd by the panel of white jurors without any charges. Their trial lasted for a maximum of 67 minutes. A few months late, the criminals admitted having committed the crime gave the whole story. (Willbern, David, 5).

The impact on the Civil Rights

One year after the decision of Supreme Courts landmark in the board of education v. brown mandated the termination of public schools racial segregation. The death of Emmitt gave a significant catalyst for American civil rights movements. About 100 days just after the murder of Emmitt, Rosa Park declined to give up the seat on Alabama city bus triggering the yearlong Bus Boycott. The congress implemented the art of civil right in the year 1964, declaring discrimination illegal in the country. Although, Tills mother, Mamie, never ceased feeling the suffering of the death of her son, he knew that what became done to her son opened the eyes of Americans regarding the racial discrimination which was taking place in the nation. (Emmitt's mother died of the heart failure in the year 2003.) That helped trigger the massive movement for the racial justice and equality protest. (Willbern, David, 4)

The Emmitt Till incident became a trigger for the new generation to make a commitment to social change. That event of the 1950s has given inspiration to young people to get committed to a kind of change which will terminate discrimination and violence in the country. The black people of Mississippi themselves have been the one to make the change. Most importantly, the change which they make and the citizenship extension to all beings have brought impact to the whole of America, which it does not only mean the lesson to the black people but also the white, Asian American and Latinos. The democracy has become extended to the world country of American.

 

Work cited

Anderson, Devery S, and Julian Bond. Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement. , 2015. Internet resource.

Houck, Davis W, and Matthew A. Grindy. Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2008. Internet resource.

Willbern, David. The American Popular Novel After World War II: A Study of 25 Best Sellers, 1947-2000. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2013. Internet resource.

 

 

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