Emmett Louis Till was born on July 25, 1941, in Argo, Illinois., a town outside of Chicago. Restrooms are segregated. Willie Reed, Mississippi resident No further charges were filed, however. Mrs. Fannie Ware
I kept on up until I got to his chin and then I -- I was forced to deal with his face. Back of the house is a tool shed. Mamie Till: He was running up the steps to try to make it to the train and I said, "Emmett, or Beau" -- I called him Beau, I said, "Where are you going?
You just didn't do that. Bibliotheque Royale de Belgique Walked in there say, "J.W. Damn if that nigger didn't have crepe sole shoes. He often took care of the house while his mother was at work.
According to witnesses, on his way out of the store, Emmett turned to Carolyn Bryant and whistled. And I guess to me it didn't happen. Lois Walker, Archivist, Chicago Defender Clara Davis, Mississippi resident Her work focuses on African American history, including the Civil Rights Movement.
Just months after Emmett Till's murder, Look magazine published "The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi," in which Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam confessed to the crime. Rose Jourdain, Journalist: I think black peoples' reaction was so visceral.
And I wondered, was it necessary to shoot him? Stock Footage, Sheriff Strider on NAACP: We never have any trouble until some of our Southern niggers go up North and the NAACP talks to 'em and they come back home. Roy Bryant, a 24 year-old ex-soldier and his wife Carolyn owned the grocery and not much else. Natural born leader. Richard Heard, Classmate: When we first met, we were in gym in Mr. Long's gym period. Black Man: Yes sir. Interviewer: Thank you very much. Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi Betty Pearson: I remember looking at the -- at that jury and even though I knew a good many of the men who were on the jury and, and they looked mean to me. An incident when Emmett was 11 also reveals his courage.
White Man: Well sir, I'll tell ya' right now, if he gets justice they'll turn him a loose. Milam I come at ya'. Interviewer: Have you studied the case by reading the papers perhaps? But he also had time for fun. But his brutal death was not in vain. Emmett Till's body is taken to Chicago's Roberts Temple Church of God for viewing and funeral services. And it said, "This is Mr. Dorie Ladner was inspired to learn more about the law after Bryant and Milam were acquitted: “That’s where the light bulb went off: Why aren’t they being punished? Bill Minor Jet magazine, in its September 15 edition, published a photo of Emmett's battered body lying on a funeral slab. Two rooms about 12 feet square.
In her book, "Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America," Till's mother Mamie Till-Mobley, recounts her son's childhood. Narrator: Reports of the acquittal made front page headlines across the United States, and set off an international firestorm.
Mamie's estranged husband came by their home and threatened her. The boy was so badly beaten that Moses Wright could identify Emmett only by his father's ring. Narrator: Fifty thousand people in Chicago had seen Emmett Till's corpse with their own eyes.
Every lawyer in the county joined their defense team. It was in a curve in a drift and a foot was stickin' up and we tore into the drift and got to him and, you know, got him out. Chicago Tribune Company That's what he did.
We walked him in there and took turns smashing him across the head with the .45.
They were mad, they were angry. Roy's half-brother J.W. He pulled his watch off and gave it to me. Bryant and Milam were acquitted, however, which outraged the African American community nationwide. Till had spent his entire life in or around Chicago and Detroit, cities that were segregated, but not by law. And we didn't. Carolyn Bryant, a 21-year-old white woman, was working at the cash register while her husband, a trucker, was on the road. He loved music and enjoyed dancing. Drinking fountains are segregated. Three days later, a boy fishing in the Tallahatchie River 15 miles upstream from Money found Emmett's body. Milam, kidnapped and brutally murdered Till, dumping his body in the Tallahatchie River. The Legacy of the Lynching of Emmett Till. But I didn't accept it. Wasn't much, wasn't really a town.
Mr. Rayner was, he told the mother, he said, "If I was you I wouldn't look at this body because this body in such a horrible condition." The murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 brought nationwide attention to the racial violence and injustice prevalent in Mississippi. Narrator: On the first day of the trial, presiding judge Curtis Swango named the jury -- all white men from Bryant and Milam's home county. SOUND RECORDISTS
If I was on the grand jury that is what I would do. I said, "What about your ring?" Other customers were sitting outside, talking and playing checkers in the cool of the shade. Mamie Till: He thought I was exaggerating, which I was. I said, "I haven't signed anything, and I haven't made any promises, and if you can't open those box -- that box, I can,", Harry Caise, Mortician: And we opened the casket, there was a terrible odor that came from the body because the body had been in the water and began to deteriorate. I just can't go into detail to tell you the silly things, the stupid things that were brought up as probabilities and they swallowed it like a fish swallows a hook. Patrick Antizi
Milam turned to Moses Wright. You see 'em.
Lisa Vox, Ph.D. is a History professor, lecturing at several universities. Milam.
Milam helped out around the grocery.
In 1945, Mamie Till received word that Emmett's father had been killed in Italy. Wright later claimed he could feel the blood boil in hundreds of white people in the courtroom. And it made an awful lot of people realize that they themselves had to get involved and do something. Interviewer: How do you think you could possibly be a help to them? Just anything, just any excuse to acquit these two men. You ain't goin' to be with the white folks and the white folks ain't goin' to be with you and y'all might be (Unintell. Emmett Till, a teen from Chicago, didn't understand that he had broken the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South until three days later, when two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of night, beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. The boys wore polyester pants, crepe soled shoes. He was the sacrificial lamb of the movement.