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“The Murder Of Emmett Till” Essay

1167 words - 5 pages

Although emancipated, blacks remained unequal and were far from free. In 1955 Mississippi was a state run by the white man. Segregation was highly practiced and was taken very seriously. Blacks were not allowed to associate with whites in no shape or form; unless they were taking orders from them. If the white man felt as though he had been disrespected by a negro then he felt he had every right to teach that negro a “lesson”. An example of this situation is that of the death of Emmett Till. The death of Emmett Till brought to light the horrific effect of the Jim Crow segregation laws and was an early stimulus for the Civil Rights movement.
In 1955 Emmett louis Till and his brother Wheeler ...view middle of the document...

). Emmett wolf whistled at a married white woman by the name of Carolyn Bryant which is what caused Roy to kidnap him. These laws gave the white man the power to do so, these laws made the white man believe that they had the power to do what they please with the lives of the negroes because they were given the power to control them. When looking at the records of the trial take note of the all white jury, white judge, white bailiff, white defense and white prosecution. Then take note of the segregated court room. Details like this show proof that the Jim crow laws gave the white man the upper hand in any situation. No matter how harsh the defense everyone was in favor of the whites. Also, the power that the white man had brought upon fear in the black community. Negroes were afraid of giving their opinion of the case and were afraid of fighting for the murder of Emmett Till because they believed the white community would come after them as well.
Negroes could not get jobs as a sheriff, judge or even as part of the jury in that time, especially in Mississippi. The jury took about less than an hour to come to the verdict of not guilty. The verdict was already decided before the judge even let the jury go into the other room and evaluate. although not surprised many people in the northern states became furious and wanted to avenge Emmett's death. Black communities planned protests and wrote letters to the president. About 10,000 mourners viewed the body, 20,000 protested after the acquittal and various organizations held demonstrations and people all around the world were in awe at the “ugly side of America”. A reporter from the magazine look quoted Milam while he was interviewed when he described the beating as “a way to keep the black in their place”("The Confession of Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam to the 1955murder of Emmett Till.") This gave the world a view into the mindset of the white man in Mississippi.

The story of Emmett Till is not forgotten in the part of the delta. People remember his story as what sparked the civil rights movement. Although the story of Rosa Parks became far more famous some people believed that although Rosa Parks’s story showed the potential of defiance, the death of Emmett Till showed a terrible future...

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