It’s our belief that civil rights martyr Emmett Till could very well be celebrating his 82nd birthday today, possibly somewhere visiting a long line of family in Mississippi or simply taking the golden ages easy in his native state of Chicago.
Instead, we mourn for him on July 25 with statements like “would be” and “anniversary of” due to the cold hard fact that Till was viciously murdered back in 1955 by a lynch mob in Mississippi. He would never live to see past the age of 14.
That’s why it comes as much of a birthday blessing today with the announcement that President Biden will be signing a proclamation to designate a national monument at three sites in honor of Emmett Till and his mother, the late Mamie Till-Mobley.
Take a look below at where and how the monument will be spread across three selected locations synonymous with Emmett’s tragic story, via NPR:
“Among the sites that will be honored is Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Chicago, where Till’s funeral service was held in September 1955.
About 1,700 people filled the church to its capacity, while 10,000 more stood outside and listened to the service over loudspeakers. The ceremony was also remembered for Till-Mobley’s brave decision to keep the casket open, showing Till’s mutilated body.
In Mississippi, Graball Landing will become a monument. Locals believe it is the spot where Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River. In 2008, a memorial sign dedicated to Till was installed near the site.
But over the years, the sign was routinely stolen, vandalized or shot at and forced to be replaced. A fourth edition now stands at the site — this time bulletproof and details the history of vandalism.
The third monument location will be the Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse, also in Mississippi, where Till’s killers were acquitted by an all-white jury. In October 2007, Till’s family visited the courthouse to receive an apology from the town’s leaders.”
The good Reverend Wheeler Parker, who was just two years older than his best friend/cousin Emmett when he witnessed the actual abduction, is on board to introduce President Biden today at the White House. He spoke to Good Morning America about what this moment means for him personally, stating, “If you didn’t live during that time or experience what I’m talking about, you have no idea it means, what it was like. You could be killed for anything and nobody is going to say anything to help you.”
We’re wishing Emmett Till a heavenly happy birthday today. More updates to follow.
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