Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley Honored With New Bill

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Emmett Till. Image: Bettmann/Getty Images.

Over 6 decades since the murder of 14 year old Emmett Till in Mississippi, the United States Senate has passed a bill to honor his life along with his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley’s contributions to justice, Huff Post reports.

Senators Cory Booker and Richard Burr presented the bill before Congress so that they may honor the lives of the two individuals with the highest civilian honor that can be awarded. Booker and Burr stated that this honor was a long overdue recognization of the gross brutalities that the Till family had to endure at the hands of racism in the United States. The sponsor of this piece of legislation is Representative Bobby Rush who also sponsored a bill to release a commemorative stamp of Till-Mobley.

Earlier this year, EBONY reported that the Department of Justice closed the case into Till’s murder after being unable to find conclusive evidence that a key figure in the case lied. Specifically, the case’s reopening was prompted after author Timothy Tyson’s book, The Blood of Emmett Till, included claims that Carolyn Bryant Donham fabricated parts of her testimony. “When the testimony of the trial was brought back up in a 2008 interview, Tyson said Donham told him ‘that part’s not true’ when explaining that her claims of Till propositioning her was false. However, when Donham was questioned by federal investigators, she maintained her innocence, denying that she lied in any portion of her testimony, according to a source close to the case.”

Donham’s claims of Till whistling at her is what led to the kidnapping, mutilation, torture and murder of the Chicago teenager by her then husband, Roy Bryant, and his relative J.W. Milam.

In 1955, EBONY’s sister magazine, Jet, brought this incident to notoriety after publishing the open casket image of Till’s body with the consent of his mother. She claimed that she wanted the world to know about what was done to her son. This narrative is the heart of the new ABC television show Women of the Movement which centers on Till-Mobley’s fight for visibility and answers in her son’s death.

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