The History Of Emmett Till: The Civil Rights Movement

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The year was 1955. An African American boy lay asleep in his uncle’s house in a small town named Money, Mississippi. Around 2 a.m., two white men came knocking on the door. The men demanded to see the boy who had “done the talkin’ in Money.” The men walked the boy to their car and asked a woman sitting in the backseat, “Is this the boy?” “Yes,” she replied. The boy was shoved into the front seat, and the car sped off. The boy’s body would be found mutilated by a fisherman three days later. What happened this boy would spark the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement (Crowe, page 57). The boy’s name was Emmett Till. Emmett was a fourteen-year-old from Chicago, Illinois. Growing up in Chicago, Emmett was not exposed to the raw racism …show more content…
Newspapers and magazines from all over the nation sent correspondents to cover the trial. Though everyone involved in the trial already knew the guilt of Bryant and Milam, the prosecution worked diligently to present a strong case. Despite the many testimonies, the clear evidence, and the two men confessing to kidnapping, after deliberating for an hour, the all-white jury found the defendants not guilty. Segregationists and racists proclaimed victory for the South. Civil rights activists and Northerners condemned the acquittal. The aftershocks of the case continued long after the jury set Milam and Bryant free. For those involved in the civil rights movement, the murder of Emmett Till and the freedom given to his murderers was the last straw. Something had to be done, and there was no better time than 1955 for the movement to begin. On the first of December in 1955, less than four months after the trial of Emmett Till’s murderers, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white person on a city bus, and her arrest for violating city segregated bus laws led to the Montgomery bus boycott. This was one of the first highly visible civil rights actions led by Martin Luther King, Jr. Many would cite Park’s act of civil disobedience as the beginning of the civil rights movement, but it was the senseless and inhuman murder of Emmett Till that galvanized African Americans all over the United States and set the stage for the civil rights movement to

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