Home Arts Joe Biden will establish a US national monument in honor of Emmett Till, whose 1955 murder shocked the nation

Joe Biden will establish a US national monument in honor of Emmett Till, whose 1955 murder shocked the nation

by godlove4241
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The White House announced that a national monument honoring Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, will be established on July 25. On what would have been Till’s 82nd birthday, President Joe Biden will sign a proclamation creating the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument at a site in Chicago, where Till was originally from, and two in Mississippi, where, while visiting family in the area in 1955, the 14-year-old black boy was kidnapped, tortured and killed by two white men for allegedly whistling a woman. white. After Till’s death, her mother’s activism helped broaden support for the civil rights movement.

The site on the south side of Chicago, Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, is where Till’s funeral took place. Till-Mobley insisted that her son have an open coffin, showing the world the ferocity of his killers, and 250,000 people came to the church over four days to pay their respects. Images of Till in the coffin have appeared in Jet magazine, infuriating the black community and people across the country.

The two Mississippi sites, both in Tallahatchie County, are at Graball Landing, near where Till’s body was allegedly found in the Tallahatchie River, and the Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse, where his killers were acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury. When Till’s body was found, thrown into the river weighted down by a cotton gin fan, he had been beaten so badly that he was only identified by a silver ring on his finger. Although the two suspects later admitted to kidnapping, torturing and killing Till, they were never punished.

Several signs telling Till’s story have been installed in Mississippi, including at Graball Landing, in 2008. The Graball Landing sign in particular has been subject to numerous vandalisms over the years, ultimately culminating in the installation of a bulletproof replacement sign and surveillance system in 2019. Last year, a Mississippi jury chose not to indict the white woman who accused Till of whistling at her (and whose husband at the time was one of the men who killed the teenager). She passed away earlier this year. Also in 2022, the U.S. Congress posthumously awarded Till and Till-Mobley the Congressional Gold Medal (Till-Mobley died in 2003), and Biden signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, officially defining lynching as a federal hate crime. Till’s coffin is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

The Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument comes at a time of growing political division in the United States, recently exemplified by arguments over how to teach black history. Just last week, the Florida School Board new guidelines approved on black history lessons in schools, including a focus on how enslaved people “developed skills that, in some cases, could be applied to personal advantage.” Previously, the state had questioned the “educational value” of advanced-level African American studies courses (which high school students can use as college credit) and discouraged educators from teaching in a way that might foster feelings of guilt among white students.

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