Senate Passes Bill to Honor Emmett Till and His Mother
The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that will award the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to Emmett Till and his mother Mamie Till-Mobley.
Till was 14-years-old when he was brutally murdered by white supremacist in 1955. He was visiting family in rural Mississippi from Chicago. The teenager was abducted from his bed, tortured and killed after witnesses claimed he whistled at a white woman in a grocery store.
His mother, who died in 2003 at 81, bravely chose an open casket at her only child’s tragic funeral, showing the world the brutality of his killing and galvanizing the Civil Rights movement.
The bipartisan legislation comes about a month after the Justice Department closed its investigation of Till’s infamous case. It could not prove that Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman at the center of the event leading to the child’s murder, lied to federal investigators more than 60 years ago.
The release of the book “The Blood of Emmett Till” prompted the reopening of the case after she seemed to recant her claims against Till.
Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J. and Richard Burr, R-N.C., introduced the bill to honor Till and his mother with the highest civilian honor from Congress.
“His gruesome murder still serves as a solemn reminder of the terror and violence experienced by Black Americans throughout our nation’s history,” Booker said in a statement. “The courage and activism demonstrated by Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, in displaying to the world the brutality endured by her son helped awaken the nation’s conscience, forcing America to reckon with its failure to address racism and the glaring injustices that stem from such hatred.”