Sunday May 19, 2013
Words of Emmett Till's Cousin Set the Stage for Civil Rights March this Saturday (VIDEO)Tim King Salem-News.com
The shocking images that tell the story of Emmett Till's torture and murder were discussed by his cousin, who remembers the night 51 years ago like it was yesterday.
(SALEM) - The story of Emmett Till, a 14-year old black boy murdered in Mississippi in 1955 should send a shiver down the spine of every American.
His brutal murder sparked the Civil Rights movement, and this week his cousin Wheeler Parker who was there the night they took Emmett away, visited Willamette University to talk about the crime that caused a nation to awake.
In the middle of the night, the door to his grandfather's house was thrown open, and Emmett was taken by the mob of at least six white men, forced into a truck and driven away, never again to be seen alive. "It was terror," Parker said.
It was only 50 years ago that whites in the south murdered and attacked African Americans almost routinely, while living in a system that allowed and even encouraged it.
Emmett's Murder changed things in this country, though not for him. Emmett’s funeral with his mutilated, decomposed body was held open casket at the insistence of his mother, Mamie Till. She wanted the world to see what had been done to her young son.
"He had two of his beautiful teeth left, they were my pride and joy." Mamie said they cut off one of Emmett's ears, and used what she assumed was a meat cleaver to chop the bridge of his nose.
Mamie Till, Emmet and other African Americans at this time, lived out the American history that schoolbooks seem to breeze over.
A Civil Rights March this Saturday in Salem will pay honor and respect to the legacies of historic figures like Emmett Till, and also bring attention to the struggles of African-American citizens today.
Organized by the Salem/Keizer Chapter of the NAACP, the theme of the event is "Injustice in Oregon" The march happens from 12:00 noon until 3:00 PM this Friday, September 30th. The march will begin at Riverfront Park, and lead to the Oregon State Capital steps.
People interested in participating in the Civil Rights March will meet at Riverfront Park and depart at 12:30 PM.
For Emmett Till, there was no justice.
Some members of the 12-member all-white male jury actually participated in Till's torture and execution. They said it took an hour for the jury to return the "not guilty" verdict only because they paused for a soft drink on the way to the deliberation room.
The child killers came out of the closet three months after they were found not guilty, admitting everything. One of the two brothers sold the story to a magazine for four thousand dollars.
Over 50,000 attended the service. 100 days later, an African-American woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus up to a white woman, and the American Civil Rights movement was born.
This video is from the brilliant documentary series "Eyes On The Prize," a chronicle of the American Civil Rights Movement from writer Steve Fayer and director Henry Hampton, courtesy of Google Video:
Articles for September 26, 2006 | Articles for September 27, 2006 | Articles for September 28, 2006
|Contact: email@example.com | Copyright © 2013 Salem-News.com | news tips & press releases: firstname.lastname@example.org.|