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The truth (we all knew) about Emmett Till

by Renee Osei, Staff Writer

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There are a few main people in the Emmett Till story; Emmett Till, the protagonist, Carolyn and Roy Bryant, the antagonists and the half brother the supporting character. The back story is quite a simple, typical hate crime that occurred during the 1950s. The Caucasian murders the negro with no reason at all, not that there is ever a reason for murder, everyone deserves a chance at life and killing someone else is not right, but still gets away with it.

In Emmett Till’s case, he had allegedly whistled at Carolyn Bryant and in the end, her ‘brave and loving husband’ and the half brother had gone home, after murdering and being put on trial for the murder, stoch free. Emmett Till on the other hand, was beaten nearly to death, had his eyes gouged out, shot in the head, and then was thrown in a river while tied to the cotton-gin fan with barbed wire. Emmett Till was so mutilated that his own family could not recognize him. This type of hate crime was conducted many times during the 1950s.

Years later, what was said to be the “catalyst for civil rights” during the 1950s has resurfaced. This time, Carolyn Bryant admitted that, Emmett Till had not catcalled her, or physically abused her as she testified in court. What was interesting about her part was that “not exactly true” is what was testified in court and ultimately is what got Emmett Till murdered.

We all know that the story what was not true and so did everyone else in the 1950s, but back then, the white people did not care. Yes, anger stirred among the African American class after seeing dead Emmett Till. Yes, it maybe possible that his death gave a push to the begins of the civil rights movement, but that is not a reason to try and excuse what this woman did. She murdered a kid with a story.

Living in America today, many would think that similar crimes committed against Emmett Till would not happen much or even at all, but that is not the case. Innocent people such as Trayvon Martin who was killed for holding a bag of skittles and wearing a hoodie and Sandra Bland who was killed in police custody and many others received no justice to such blatant racist crimes. Meanwhile, the white person is left to go free. The biggest difference between the 1950s and 2000s is that there is much more effort to make the defendant seem more like the victim.

During this black history month, let’s not forget these people. We shall not let them be forgotten, we will use their situations to fuel the fire. Fight for our constitutional rights. During the black history month, we shall also not forget to celebrate blackness. Celebrate the good things accomplished by successful African Americans. Like Mamie Till did during her son’s funeral, let’s open the coffin to see what America is doing to us. Let’s use this to inspire and create change, while also celebrating the endurance of our people.

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The truth (we all knew) about Emmett Till