Two white men, Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam, were tried on murder charges about a month after Emmett Till was killed, but an all-white Mississippi jury acquitted them.
The painful legacy of Emmett Till seems fresh amid this era of civil unrest. We reflect on his death with Ollie Gordon, Till’s cousin, and Chris Benson, who co-authored an autobiography of Mamie Till-Mobley, Till’s mother.
The death of the 14-year-old Chicago boy, brutally murdered in Mississippi in 1955, became far more than just another lynching during the Jim Crow era. His mother's decision to display the mutilated body of Emmett Till during his funeral altered the course of history by invigorating a movement. Till's family remembers his life and his death, and compares his story to those we hear today.