Who was Emmett Till? - The New York Times

What was the Emmett Till generation? Black Americans who grew up in the 1950s organized nearly every mass rally, sit-in, and march that ...


Black Americans who grew up in the 1950s organized nearly every mass rally, sit-in, and march that accelerated the civil rights movement, calling themselves “the Emmett Till Generation.”

“I realized it could just as easily have been a story about me or my brother,” Muhammad Ali said.

Representative John Lewis of Georgia wrote that he had been “shaken to the heart” by Emmett’s death. So was Representative Bobby L. Rush from Illinois, who was 9 years old and lived in the Deep South at the time of the murder.

“When the photo of Emmett Till’s funeral was published in Jet magazine, I will never forget how my mother gathered us around the living room coffee table, put the magazine in the middle, pointed at it and said, “That’s why I brought my boys from Albany, Georgia,” he said in an interview. “This photograph shaped my consciousness as a black man in America. The course of my life would not have been the same if I had not been exposed as a child to the horror of photography.

No. In May 2004, the FBI opened an investigation to see if others were involved, and Emmett’s body was then exhumed for an autopsy, which had yet to be performed. In 2007, a Mississippi state grand jury refused to indict anyone else.

Mr Bryant, who spent time in jail for food stamp fraud, died in 1994. Mr Milam also spent time in jail for using a stolen credit card and, in another case, for blows and wounds. He died in 1980.

Local authorities initially issued an arrest warrant for Ms. Bryant for kidnapping, but it was never served. A grand jury in Greenwood, Mississippi, refused to charge her in 2007.

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