Emmett Till

Mackenzie, Marian, Sarina

Why was he murdered?

In August 1955, Till left his native Chicago to visit relatives in Mississippi. A few days after he arrived, he bought gum at a store owned by a white man named Roy Bryant. Roy was out of town and his wife, Carolyn, was managing the shop in his absence. The exact details of the incident have long been disputed, but the teenager somehow offended Mrs. Bryant. When Roy Bryant returned, he and his half-brother, J. W. Milam, planned savage retaliation. Armed and uttering threats, they took Emmett from his great-uncle's home at 2 a.m. on August 28.
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Source Citation

"Emmett Till." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 6: 1950-1959. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 9 Oct. 2015.


Pepus, Chris. "Telling Emmett Till's story." The Progressive Dec. 2005: 36+. General OneFile. Web. 9 Oct. 2015.

Hoping for Change

Three days later, Till's body was found in the nearby Tallahatchie River. His face was horribly battered, and there was a gaping hole in his head. When the body was returned to Chicago, Emmett's mother, Mamie Till, held an open-casket funeral to let the public see what had happened to her son. Jet published a photo of the victim's mutilated face and Emmett Till became the symbol of countless victims of lynching Back in Mississippi, an all-white, all-male jury acquitted Milam and Bryant of murdering Till, even though the two admitted kidnapping him. The case provoked international outrage and helped generate support for the civil rights movement.
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Source Citation

"Emmett Till Murder Trial." Gale Student Resources in Context. Detroit: Gale, 1955. Student Resources in Context. Web. 9 Oct. 2015.