Emmett Till’s Life – Civil Rights Movement and Rosa Parks

On August 24, 1955, Emmett louis Till, a fourteen year old black male from Chicago, Illinois, visiting relatives in Leflore County Mississippi, when he entered the Bryant Grocery & Meat Market in the town of Money, Mississippi. When he left the Store he supposedly whistled at the owner which back then in that area was not an ok thing to do. The owner (Carolyn Bryant) told her husband (Roy Bryant) and on August 28, 1955, Ray Bryant, J.W Milam and at least one other person went to the home of Mose Wright, Till’s Uncle, wanting the boy who had done the “talking” in Money and kidnapped Till from the home.

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On August 31, 1955, a naked body presumed to be Till’s was found floating in a section of the Tallahatchie river running along the border between Tallahatchie and Leflore Counties. A 75 pound Cotton gin fan was found tied to his neck with barbed wire. (www.history.com)

From September 19, 1955, through September 23, 1955, Roy Bryant and J.W Milam were tried for Till’s murder but nothing happened. Milam and Bryant later confessed to the kidnapping and murder of Till to reporter William Bradford Huie, the account was published in look magazine on January 24,1956. J.W Milam died in 1981 and Roy Bryant died in 1994. (www.history.com)

Till had Visited Mississippi on three other occasions prior to August 1955, as an infant, toddler, and again when he was nine years old. Till had a speech impediment due to a childhood illness, but was understandable when he spoke. Till’s Father, Louis Till died in Europe during 1945. Records released in October indicate that Louis till, a private in the US Army for the rape of two woman and the murder of another in Italy. The American battle Monuments Commision verified Louis Till was executed and is Currently interred at the Oisne-aisne Cemetery. (www.biography.com)

The Family Emmett had been staying with was the Wright Family. The wright family, headed by Mose Wright, was the family was with whom Till was visiting when he was abducted. Mose Wright was born in lexington, Mississippi, and was sixty-four years old in 1955. Mose Wright was commonly referred to by many as preacher or preacher Wright. (static1.squarespace.com)

In 1955, when Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley heard the news that her only child had been kidnapped in Money, Miss., tortured, shot, wrapped in barbed wire attached to a 75-pound fan and then thrown in the Tallahatchie River, she insisted that the authorities send his body home to Chicago. (www.washingtonpost.com) When she went to the train station to see the body of her fourteen year old son, she collapsed. “Lord, take my soul,” she cried, According to a 2003 interview with the washington post. She asked for an open casket at his funeral. “I think everybody needed to know what happened to Emmett Till,” Till-Mobley said, according to PBS. This is what Sparked the Civil rights movement. (www.washingtonpost.com)

The Civil rights movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for blacks to gain equal rights under the law in the United States. The Civil rights war had officially abolished slavery, but it didn’t end discrimination against blacks-they continued to endure the devastating effects of racism, especially in the south. (www.history.com)

In the Mississippi, Delta, blacks weren’t treated equally to whites. The white population could rely on the the normal vestments of government and call on the local sheriff’s department for assistance in criminal matters. This was not the case for blacks. The black population was dealt with in a manner. If a white person had a problem with a black person, the issue would be taken up with the black persons “land owner”, the person who owned the farm where the black person, or that person’s family, sharecropped. (static1.squarespace.com)

In May 7, 1955, W.G Washington Lee, A black minister in the town of belzoni, Mississippi the first black person to register to vote in the Humphreys County, was murdered. He was killed with a shotgun; No one was arrested or charged for the crime. The county sheriff L.J Shelton made public statements that the metal fragments in Lee’s jaw were probably fillings from his teeth. On August 13, 1955, Lamar Smith, a sixty-three year old farmer, world war veteran, and black voting advocate, was mordred in Brookhaven, Mississippi, on the courthouse lawn, in front of the Sheriff. The three White men were arrested for the murder; but a grand jury did not return any indictment for the case.

The Jim Crow Laws were a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation. The roots of Jim Crow laws began in 1865, following the ratification of the 13th Amendment freeing four million slaves. (www.history.com)

The 13th Amendment to the U.S Constitution, ratified in the aftermath of the Civil war, abolished slavery in the United States. The 13th Amendment States: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or anyplace subject to their jurisdiction.” (www.history.com)

Black codes were strict laws detailing when, where and how freed slaves could work , and for how much compensation.These codes worked in conjunction with labor camps for the incarcerated, where prisoners were treated as slaves. (www.history.com)

The black codes had their roots in the slaves codes that had formerly been in effect. The premise behind chattel slavery in america was that slaves were property, and as such they had few or no legal rights. (www.britannica.com)

Mrs. Parks was born Rosa louise McCauley, February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She was known as the “Mother of the modern day Civil Rights movement” in America. After the arrest of Rosa Parks, black people of Montgomery and sympathizers of other races organized and promoted a boycott of the city bus line that lasted 381 days. (www.rosaparks.com)

In 1932 She married Raymond Parks, who encouraged her to return to high school and earn a diploma. She became a seamstress and that is how she earned her living. She was arrested on December 1, 1955, for refusing to give her bus seat to a white man. For her role in igniting the successful campaign, which brought king to national prominence, Parks became known as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” (www.britannica.com)

The Civil rights movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for blacks to gain equal rights under the law in the United States. The Civil rights war had officially abolished slavery, but it didn’t end discrimination against blacks-they continued to endure the devastating effects of racism, especially in the south. (www.history.com)

The Civil Rights movement, Emmett Till’s death, and Rosa Parks arrest all were very important steps in our history. Thanks to those things we are equal and are free.

Work cited

https://www.biography.com/people/emmett-till-507515

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-death-of-emmett-till

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/553d7f9ae4b0bd2bbd401341/t/553d9a41e4b08ceb08ac2888/1430100611225/FBI+transcript.pdf

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/07/12/emmett-tills-mother-opened-his-casket-and-sparked-the-civil-rights-movement/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.78ad6758e1bd

https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-movement

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/thirteenth-amendment

http://www.history.com/topics/early-20th-centry-us/jim-crow-laws

http://www.britannica.com/topic/black-code

www.rosaparks.org/biography/

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rosa-Parks

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