April 20, 2024

Biden to Create Monument to Emmett Until the Day He Would Have Been 82 Years Old

  • President Joe Biden will create a national monument in honor of Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley.
  • Till’s murder in Mississippi helped spark the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
  • The monument locations will consist of a site in Chicago and two sites in rural Mississippi.

President Joe Biden will create a national monument in honor of Emmett Till, the Black Chicago teenager whose kidnapping and murder in Mississippi in 1955 was a defining spark in the emerging civil rights movement, a White House official said Saturday.

Biden is scheduled to make the announcement on July 25, which would have been Till’s 82nd birthday.

The president will sign a proclamation that will form the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument, which also represents the civil rights work of Till’s mother, who fought bravely for equality for Black Americans after her son’s murder, for many years. The monument will consist of a site in Chicago, the city where Emmett Till was born, and two sites in Mississippi, where he traveled during that fateful summer of 1955 to spend time with his cousins.

“The new monument will protect places that tell the story of the too short life and racist murder of Emmett Till, the unjust acquittal of his murderers, and the activism of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, who courageously drew the world’s attention to the brutal injustices and racism of our time, inspiring the civil rights movement,” said a White House official.

In August 1955, Carolyn Bryant Donham accused Emmett Till of making inappropriate advances toward her while inside Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market in Money, Miss., which was then run by Donham and her husband, Roy Bryant.

The accusation prompted Bryant and his half-brother, JW Milam, to kidnap Till at gunpoint from the home of his great-uncle, Moses Wright. Bryant and Milam then tortured and lynched the teenager before throwing his body into the Tallahatchie River.

Till’s battered body was weighed down by cotton gin fans and found several days later.

His face was left unrecognizable. But, at her funeral service in Chicago, Mamie Till-Mobley insisted that her son have an open casket funeral so that the world could see the brutality and horror of what her son suffered in the segregated South.

The Illinois monument site will be the Temple Roberts Church of God in Christ in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, on the South Side of the city, where the funeral of Emmett Till was held in 1955. The sites include Mississippi Gravel Landing, where it is believed that Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River, and the Darahatchie District Courthouse of Tallahatchie County in Milamner, where his trial was acquitted and the Bryant-white Court of Justice.

In 1956 article in Look magazine, Bryant and Milam confessed to the murder. Both men have since died.

Donham died in April. She was 88 years old.

Last December, Congress voted to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Till and his mother.

In March 2022, Biden signed into law the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, which made lynching a federal hate crime for the first time in US history.

The president’s push to elevate civil rights leaders and recognize the full scope of Black history comes as Republicans in recent years have sought to limit how race can be taught in classrooms, with conservatives targeting diversity, equity and inclusion programs and praising the Supreme Court’s recent decision to end affirmative action in college admissions.

Biden’s original student debt relief plan, which was invalidated by the Supreme Court, was also intended to be a plan with significant implications. element of racial equityand the administration trying to reduce the racial wealth gap by giving $10,000 in loans to individuals and $20,000 in loans to individuals who were Pell Grant recipients.

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