How The Civil Rights Era Compares To The Crucible

1264 words - 5 pages

The People of the Crucible were treated like animals. No one had a chance at defending themselves because in the judge’s eyes everyone except himself could be found guilty. This is the same in the Civil Rights Era. The whites believed that everyone with different colored skin were terrible people, people that should not be associated with. The story of Emmet Till explains very well some of the inhumane acts that went on during the civil rights.In August 1955, a fourteen year old boy went to visit relatives near Money, Mississippi. Intelligent and bold, with a slight mischievous streak, Emmett Till had experienced segregation in his hometown of Chicago, but he was unaccustomed to the severe segregation he encountered in Mississippi. When he showed some local boys a picture of a white girl who was one of his friends back home and bragged that she was his girlfriend, one of them said, "Hey, there's a [white] girl in that store there. I bet you won't go in there and talk to her." Emmett went in and bought some candy. As he left, he said "Bye baby" to Carolyn Bryant, the wife of the store owner. Although they were worried at first about the incident, the boys soon forgot about it. A few days later, two men came to the cabin of Mose Wright, Emmett's uncle, in the middle of the night. Roy Bryant, the owner of the store, and J.W. Milam, his brother-in-law, drove off with Emmett. Three days later, Emmett Till's body was found in the Tallahatchie River. One eye was gouged out, and his crushed-in head had a bullet in it. The corpse was nearly unrecognizable; Mose Wright could only positively identify the body as Emmett's because it was wearing an initialed ring. At first, local whites as well as blacks were horrified by the crime. Bryant and Milam were arrested for kidnapping even before Emmett's body was found, and no local white lawyers would take their case. Newspapers and white officials reported that all "decent" people were disgusted with the murder and proclaimed that "justice would be done." The Emmett Till case quickly attracted national attention. Mamie Bradley, Emmett's mother, asked that the body be shipped back to Chicago. When it arrived, she inspected it carefully to ensure that it really was her son. Then, she insisted on an open-casket funeral, so that "all the world [could] see what they did to my son." Over four days, thousands of people saw Emmett's body. Many more blacks across the country who might not have otherwise heard of the case were shocked by pictures of the that appeared in Jet magazine. These pictures moved blacks in a way that nothing else had. When the Cleveland Call and Post polled major black radio preachers around the country, it found that five of every six were preaching about Emmett Till, and half of them were demanding that "something be done in Mississippi now." Whites in Mississippi resented the Northern criticism of the "barbarity of segregation" and the NAACP's labeling of the murder as a lynching. Five...

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