The Year 1955 holds importance due to several reasons in United States history and one such reason is the gruesome murder of Emmett Till. When the media aired the images of Emmett Till’s injuries, it shook the world and exacerbated the ongoing civil rights movement (1954-68). The civil rights movement received widespread attention but what was the actual reason that led to the murder of Emmett Till? In this article, you will learn how the murder of a 14-year-old African American child changed the course of American history forever.
Emmett Till and His Eve of Death
On August 28, 1955, Emmett Till set out for a trip from Chicago to visit his family in Money, Mississippi. Little did he know, this would be his last journey Emmett Till and his friends went to the Bryant Grocery and Meat Market where they were confronted by Carolyn Bryant.
An argument ensued, with Emmett reportedly flirting with her, though others at the store deny ever hearing the inappropriate language. The next morning, armed men forcefully entered Till’s home in the middle of the night and took him away. He was found three days later with a bullet wound in his head and a horrifically mutilated body. This was the beginning of a tragedy that changed history forever.
Due to the prolonged cruelty Emmett endured, many faces from photos of his burial were obscured. Till suffered horrific wounds including an eye gouged out, a gunshot hole in his skull, a broken neck, and several facial lacerations, which were likely caused by the assailants beating him ferociously with an axe handle or another blunt weapon.
The grand jury returned indictments against the two defendants for kidnapping and murder. Six months later, during their trial, they were both found not guilty on all counts, nevertheless. This incident aroused widespread indignation across the nation and is largely recognized as one of the triggers that set off the events that gave rise to the 1960s civil rights movement.
Emmett Till’s injuries are very gruesome and wild so, we recommend that faint-hearted people must avoid viewing these heart-piercing images of a 14 years old child who was wrongly accused of harassment.
The Abhorrent Killing and Emmett Till autopsy
Emmett Till was found in the Tallahatchie River three days after he was taken away. His injuries were so extensive that, at first, his body could not be identified and it took an open-casket funeral where his mother demanded the public see what had happened to her son for anyone to realize the injustice of the heinous crime. When Emmett Till autopsy report went public, it was clear that Till had been shot in the head and beaten beyond recognition with a gunshot wound above his right ear. Besides Emmett Till’s injuries; his mother’s courage coupled with these horrific images sparked a tidal wave of civil rights activism in America that overthrew segregation laws and immortalized Emmett Till’s memory forever.
Revisiting Emmett Till’s Grave and His Legacy in the Present Day
Emmett Till’s grave is now a site of pilgrimage for many people seeking to honor his life and remember the events of 1955. Every year people travel from around the country to visit his grave in Chicago’s Burr Oak Cemetery, bringing balloons and flowers as tributes.
There are also several memorials that have been built around the U.S. in order to keep alive Till’s memory and the fight for civil rights against racism, Violence, and oppression which he became a symbol for after his death.
Steps to prevent Hate crimes like Emmett Till murder
Even after the civil rights movement in the U.S.A 1954-68, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy in 1863, there is hate for Blacks, and racism can be seen in many events, like the recent killing George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Derek Chauvin. Therefore, if the world doesn’t want to witness Emmett Till’s injuries again on anyone else, the following steps should be taken on an emergency basis,
- Education: It is essential to educate people on the history of racism, prejudice, and discrimination in our society. This education should include an understanding of the cultural and historical context of these issues, as well as their impact on individuals and communities.
- Community involvement: Community leaders and organizations can play an important role in promoting tolerance, respect, and understanding among diverse groups of people. They can also work to foster an environment where hate crimes and acts of violence are not tolerated.
- Law enforcement: It is critical that law enforcement agencies enforce anti-discrimination laws and policies and take appropriate action when incidents of hate crimes or violence occur. This includes ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions and that victims receive support and justice.
- Political action: Policy and legislative changes can also be instrumental in preventing hate crimes and promoting equality. This can include the implementation of anti-discrimination laws and policies, as well as measures to address systemic racism and promote social justice.
- Media representation: The media can play a significant role in shaping public opinion and perceptions of different groups. It is crucial that the media accurately and fairly represent diverse communities and challenge stereotypes and prejudices.