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Emmett Till: An Insperation To Civil Rights

1172 words - 5 pages

We all know about slavery, it lasted roughly from 1619-1865(Slavery in America n.pag.).What we don’t all know is what African Americans had to go through. We never will be able to understand. The story of Emmett Till gives us a glance on how horribly people were treated. Emmett Till symbolizes the horror of racism and how badly it needed to be stopped. In total 3,345 lynchings that happened throughout this time period(Lynching Statistics n.pag.). He started a mass movement for the fight of equality. It isn’t known what happened in the grocery store the day Emmett suppositivly flirted with the cashier. It could have been one word, wink, whistle, that caused his brutal murder. Due to where ...view middle of the document...

It was a hot day, so like anyone else, they decided to go get a drink at the local store when they were done working. Earlier that day Emmett had bragged to his cousins about having a white girlfriend back home, this sparked their idea in daring him to flirt with the white women cashier(Emmett Till Biography n.pag.) Back in his hometown this wasn’t a big deal. Emmett was unaware of the severity of doing this. Undoubtedly, this action caused the husband of Carolyn, the storekeeper, to murder Emmett.
Four days later, at approximately 2:30 a.m. on August 28th, 1955, Roy Bryant, Carolyn's husband, and his half brother kidnapped Emmett from his uncle Mose Wrights home(Emmett Till Biography). Moses reported Tills disappearance to the authorities in town. Three days after Emmett was abducted his disfigured body was found in the river. It is thought that he was taken to a barn, then severely beaten. One of his eyes were pulled out. They then made him carry a 70lb cotton gin to the Tallahatchie River(The Death of Emmett Till). Once he made in to the river the men proceeded to beat him. After he suffered they took a gun to his head and shot him, tied him to the cotton gin with barb wire, and threw his mangled body into the river. Due to the events of his death it ultimately lead up to the trial of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam(Emmett Till Biography)
Naturally in this time period the trial wasn’t going to be held fairly. In spite of this horrible murder those men walked away free. It took two weeks before Bryant and Milam were put on trial. They were tried for murder. An all white, male jury acquitted them. It took 57 minutes to decided they were innocent(Emmett Till Biography). Protected by the double jeopardy law they could not get accused or brought to court for this murder again. They sold their story of how they kidnapped and murdered a 14 year old boy to Look magazine for $4,000(Emmett Till Biography). Despite the amount of pain Emmett's mother was going through she insisted on an open casket funeral. She wanted everyone to know what had happened whereas the authorities tried to get rid of his body immediately. His body was unrecognisable. Emmett was given...

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