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Emmett Till

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Emmett Louis Till was born in Chicago, Illinois to Louis and Mamie Till in July of 1941. When Emmett was four, he and his mother got word that his father, a military man, had been executed by the government. Emmett was raised by his mother and grandmother and, in his early years, was said to have been a happy, normal young man who excelled at science and art in school and was known to love jokes. In 1955, Emmett's great-uncle Mose Wright came up from Mississippi for a funeral and at that time invited young Emmett back to Mississippi with him for a vacation. Unaware of the strict rules of segregation enforced in Mississippi, Emmett made the fatal mistake of paying improper attention to Carolyn Bryant, the wife of a white store owner. Though accounts vary, history has agreed that while visiting the story, Emmett offered a wolf whistle to Mrs. Bryant. After several days, her husband Roy and his half-brother J.W. Milam tracked down young Till at his Great-Uncle's house in the middle of the night and took him away to a plantation where they tortured him, killed him and threw the body in the Tallahatchie River. His body was discovered days later and shipped back home to Chicago where his mother decided to put her son's grossly bloated and disfigured corpse on display at an open-casket funeral so that all Chicago could see the full horror of her son's death. The case made headlines world-wide especially when Bryant and Milam were acquitted by an all-white jury back in Mississippi. After failing to get President Eisenhower to reopen the case, Mrs. Till put photos of her son's corpse in Jet Magazine. The response to such a horrible article would remains in the minds of a generation of black people, and was said to have been the spark that put the Civil Rights Movement into motion.  See full bio on IMDb »

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