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Emmett Till And Song Of Solomon

858 words - 3 pages

Emmett Till was only fourteen in the 1950s when he was brutally murdered in a Mississippi town. Two men were accused of the murder. Many of the racial issues that went on in the Till murder and the court case also were portrayed in Toni Morrison's novel, Song of Solomon. Emmett Till's life was somewhat the same as a typical African American with all the prejudice he had to face. At the time newspapers, both black and white owned, had different ways of looking at the murder, and such differences in views form a structure for Morrison to use Till's life to portray Macon Dead's life in a racist society.

           

            Emmett Till was a young boy who lived in Chicago and was not used to all the racial issues in the South because he did not have to face them until he went to a small town in Mississippi to visit his uncle. He soon realized just how different the South really was. Emmett and a few friends went to a white-owned store, and on the way out he was dared by his friends to whistle at the white lady running the store. Later that day, Sunday, August 28, 1955, he was taken from his uncle's home by the lady's husband and was shot, beaten, and with a 270 pound weight tied to his neck, thrown in the Tallahatchie River. A few days later Till was found in the river by a boy fishing from the shore. The woman's husband J.W. Bryant and his brother-in-law Roy Milam were charged with kidnapping and murder. The trial was held in a segregated court house on September 23, 1955. The all-white jury found Bryant and Milam not guilty. Emmett Till lost his life for something that he did not think was wrong; he was a good kid who often watched out for the elderly. To make matters worse, the killers walked away with no punishment.

           

            In the 1950's black news reporters and white news reporters viewed many things differently, especially the murders of black people. The murder of Emmett Till serves as an example. Even though the murder of this fourteen-year-old boy made both blacks and whites aware of Till's murder, the black newspapers took the incident far more seriously than the whites. The murder of the boy made headline news in the newspapers written by blacks, as in the newspaper Atlanta Daily World, which read "Fifty Thousand View the Body of Fourteen-Year-Old Boy Found Slain in Mississippi." Another newspaper, Chicago Defender wrote, "Nation Shocked by Action in Lynching Chicago Youth." The Cleveland Call and Post stated, "Lynching Stirs Nation...

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