The Injustice of Emmet Till


Courtesy: Everett Col

Larisa G.

Emmet Till’s life ended on August 28, 1955 by being lynched and shot to death. 

Emmet Till was accused of flirting with a white woman while in a store, and was lynched by the woman’s husband and brother. He was taken from his Uncle’s home during the night by these two strangers. Till was visiting from his Uncle in Mississippi from Chicago, where he lived a more equal life. 

  These two men beat him, gouged out his eyes, shot him in the head and threw him into the river tied to a cotton gin. The point of tying him to the cotton gin was so his body would sink.  When he passed away his mother was unaware, due to the fact that he Till came alone.  His body was so mangled he was only identified by a ring on his finger. He was 14-years-old. 

Despite Till’s Uncle identifying both men, they had a verdict of innocence on an all white jury. So, when Till’s funeral arrived his mother chose to have an open casket funeral, she wanted the world to see when these men did to her young boy. The women later confessed Till never touched nor harassed her in that store. 

Till’s death brought light to the brutality of the Jim Crow segregation, and started an early civil rights movement.