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Emmett Till Essay

1242 words - 5 pages

A pivotal moment is a turning point on which things, especially events, change, taking a new direction. It can happen every day at any time. These moments can either be positive or negative, good or bad, depending on the impact. Emmett Till's murder exemplifies a pivotal event. One day in Mississippi, he flirted with a married white woman by whistling at her. After the woman's husband, Roy Bryant, found out about it, he brutally murdered Emmett by beating, shooting, and doing barbarous things to him, which completely disfigured his face. When Emmett's great-uncle, Mose Wright, saw his mutilated body, he did not recognize him by his face. "When people saw what had happen to my son, men stood up who had never stood up before," was what Emmett's mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, once said. Such a pivotal event had a lasting impact on many Americans from Emmett Till's murder, because of significant decisions that people made, the history of lynching, and historical context.
First of all, the decisions made by particular individuals, who were involved in Emmett Till's murder, contributed to the impact of this pivotal event, because the risky decisions made people aware of what they were capable of, especially for African Americans. Emmett's great-uncle, Mose Wright, was one of those who made an important decision. When the trial was held for Emmett's case, he decided to testify against the perpetrators, who killed Emmett. This contributed to the impact of Emmett's murder, because Wright was the first to courageously testify against whites in a court. In fact, this was a major thing, because at that time, blacks were afraid to testify. The reason was because they were afraid of being attacked by whites. They knew that if they testified a white person in a court, a mob of whites would chase them down, because white people considered each other as "peers". Mose Wright was very fortunate on that. Curtis Jones, Wright's grandson, said that he was a mighty brave man to come and testify among all those hostile people in a court and point his finger out at a white man and accuse him of murder. Because of Wright's brave decision to testify, he inspired African Americans and other people to take a stand to fight for justice, equality, and civil rights. So the decisions made by certain people played a factor on the impact of Emmett's murder, because Mose Wright's decision made others aware of their capabilities to be brave and be upstanders like him.
Not only did decisions made by particular individuals help make Emmett Till's murder have such a major impact on Americans, but also the legacy of lynching in America influenced many perspectives. The history of lynching made people realize how long it continued. According to Lynching Statistics, Mississippi, where Emmett was murdered, had 12.25% of lynching in America between 1882 and 1968. It was ranked the highest at of all of the other states. This explains why this history of lynching impacted Emmett's murder,...

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