Emmett Till’s story

Find out what happened in Emmett Till's life before the unfortunate incident

Getting to Mississippi

B y 14 years old, Emmett was a bulky and stocky kid. After spending some quality time with his uncle from Mississippi, he begged his mother to go visit the family there. She warned him that Mississippi and Chicago were completely different and ensured he knew how to behave with white people.

While racial crimes were still quite popular, they were far from what happened during the 19th century. However, Mississippi was still ranked among the most racial states. Just a week before Emmett arrived in Mississippi, a black man was killed for being an activist.

The unfortunate incident

E mmett Till and a few friends reached to a local store to get candy. The store was owned by Roy Bryant and his wife Carolyn – a white couple. What happened in that store will never be known, as there are quite a few different versions.

Some say that Emmett wolf whistled at Carolyn. Some others say that he was bragging about having a white girlfriend. Emmett also had a persistent stutter and his mother taught him to whistle before saying particular words.

The outcome

F The same night, Rob Bryant and a friend started questioning young black males in the area. Eventually, he found out that the problematic kid was living with his uncle. He rushed there in the middle of the night and asked to see the kid. A voice from the car confirmed that he was the one. They took him and disappeared.

When questioned about it, they said they released him in front of the store just hours later. His uncle was afraid to call the sheriff due to a few threatenings, but the family did it eventually after he also let Emmett's mother know about the problem. He drove around trying to find him, but he was unsuccessful. Emmett's body was found days later by some kids who were fishing. His face was mutilated. He was also shot a few times and he could not be recognized. His ring was the only thing that helped the authorities identify him. He was naked and tied to a large fan – probably to keep him underwater. One of his eyes was missing. The body was so badly damaged that the casket had to be closed during the funeral. The situation did ask for a trial though.

The two white men who allegedly killed Emmett Till were released. The case reached the media from one coast to another and even made it to some international publications. It is a shame someone had to die for the Civil Right Movement to be taken into consideration.