Kiara Alfonseca and Fritz Farrow, ABC, July 25, 2023
President Joe Biden signed a proclamation Tuesday to establish the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument. Till, the Black 14-year-old who was lynched in 1955 after he was accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi, became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement.
His murder highlighted the racism and brutality faced by Black people throughout the U.S.
This monument will also honor Till’s mother Mamie Till-Mobley, a renowned civil rights advocate. Till was laid to rest in an open casket at his funeral by his mother to demonstrate the horrors of his brutal murder in order to push forward the movement for equal rights for Black Americans.
“The new monument will protect places that tell the story of Emmett Till’s too-short life and racially-motivated murder, the unjust acquittal of his murderers, and the activism of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, who courageously brought the world’s attention to the brutal injustices and racism of the time, catalyzing the civil rights movement,” according to a White House official.
The monument will be composed of several sites related to Till’s life and murder, including the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Chicago where Till’s funeral service was held.
Graball Landing in Mississippi, where it is believed that Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River, will be the second location.
The Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse in Mississippi, where Till’s killers were acquitted by an all-white jury, will be the third.
“The designation reflects the Biden-Harris administration’s work to advance civil rights and commitment to protecting places that help tell a more complete story of our nation’s history,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday.
“As we talk about the civil rights movement, as we talked about Emmett Till’s story, this is American history, and it is the broader story of American — of Black oppression, their survival, and the bravery in America,” she said. “All of that is connected.”