The Untold Story of Emmett Till
Unless you have watched “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till,” you do not know the racial dynamics that led to the Civil Rights Movement. The murder of Emmett Till was the first media event of the Civil Rights Movement. It demonstrated the horrors of racism in an event circulated throughout America and around the world. African Americans clearly understood that all African Americans were under attack, that no African-American male in the South was safe. The murder of Emmett Louis Till was to African Americans what the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was to Americans in December 1941, or the attack of 9/11 to Americans of our own day. We therefore take refuge in telling you what happened only because why it happened is too difficult to handle, so irrational as to be incomprehensible. Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American born July 25, 1941 on the south side of Chicago, Ill. He was murdered by Roy Bryant and his half brother, John W. Milam, in Money, Mississippi on August 28, 1955 for "Wolf Whistling" at Carolyn Bryant, wife of Roy Bryant.
Against the advice of A.A. Rayner, Emmett's mother insisted on an open casket funeral. More than 50 thousand people passed the open coffin. When Jet Magazine published a picture of the disfigured corpse of Emmett Till, millions across the world read about the lynching of the fourteen-year-old Emmett Till. Newspapers across the world carried the story.
Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were acquitted for the murder of Emmett Till. An all white-male jury took less than an hour to find the two men not guilty. Had they not taken a soda break, their deliberations would not have taken an hour, said one of the jurors. In spite of the fact that the two admitted taking Emmett Till from his great-uncle's cabin, the two men were later acquitted of kidnapping charges.
The highlights of the trial...