Remembering Emmett Till: The Horror of Lynching in America
On Aug. 24, 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, when he reportedly flirted with a white cashier at a grocery store. Four days later, two white men kidnapped, beat and shot Till in the head and gouged out one of his eyes.
Till’s face was mutilated beyond recognition and his mother only managed to make a positive ID by the ring on his finger, engraved with his father’s initials – “L.T.” The men responsible for his death were tried for murder, but an all-white, male jury acquitted them.
For Till’s mother, the painful process of burying her child also became a nationwide event. She demanded that her son’s body be returned to his hometown Chicago and held an open-casket funeral to mark the brutality of the murder.