Senate to honor Emmett Till and his mother with Congressional Gold Medal

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The Senate passed a bill to posthumously award Issue up to and his mother Mamie Till-Mobley with the Congressional Gold Medal. Till’s murder and his mother’s decision to hold an open funeral because she ‘wanted the world to see what they did to my baby’ played a crucial role in starting the rights movement civics.

MONEY, MS – AUGUST 29: Descendants of Emmett Till gather outside an old gas station in Money, Mississippi on August 29, 2015. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The senses. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, and Richard Burr, a Republican representing North Carolina, originally introduced the bill to honor Till and her mother with the highest civilian honor Congress can yield. September 2020, reported NBC News. They reintroduced the legislation for the 117th Congress last year.

In 1955, Till, a 14-year-old black teenager from Chicago, was kidnapped from his uncle’s rural home in Mississippi, beaten, mutilated and lynched by several white men, including Roy Bryant and his half-brother, JW Milam, for allegedly whistling at a white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, days earlier.

The young boy was tied up with barbed wire and thrown into the Tallahatchie River. The men anchored his body with a 75-pound cotton gin fan.

Bryant and Milam were charged with murder but acquitted by an all-white jury despite eyewitness testimony given by his uncle. A year later, the two confessed to the murders in a January issue of Look magazine.

The posthumous acknowledgment comes more than a month after the Justice Department announced it was officially closing its investigation into the case that took place more than 60 years ago. Officials said they could not prove that one of the key star witnesses in the case lied in their testimony.

Authorities reignited their investigation after historian and college professor Timothy B. Tyson claimed in his book ‘The Blood of Emmett Till’ that Donham told her she had lied about the teenager had ever touched her.

Tyson claims that when interviewing the woman in his office in 2008, she handed him a transcript of her 1955 sworn testimony and said: ‘[t]that part isn’t true,” indicating that she lied. However, Tyson was unable to produce evidence to support his claim. Additionally, Donham, now 80, stood by her original accusation from 60 years ago and also denied recanting her story to Tyson.

ABC’s “Women of the Movement” also revisited Till’s murder. The limited series focuses on his mother, played by Tony Award winner Adrienne Warren, and her journey to find justice for her son, played by Cedric Joe, by enlisting reporters and working with the NAACP.

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