Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Till, Emmett (1941–1955)
Emmett Louis Till was an African American teenager whose brutal murder in August 1955 galvanized the nascent civil rights movement in the United States. Born in Chicago in 1941 to Mamie and Louis Till, Emmett “Bobo” Till had just turned 14 when he was savagely beaten, shot to death, and his body dumped into the Tallahatchie River near Money, Mississippi. His “crime” was that he had whistled at a White woman. A fisherman found Till 3 days after two White men had abducted him from his great-uncle's home; his horribly disfigured and bloated body was found with a bullet hole behind his ear and a 70-pound cotton gin fan attached to his neck with barbed wire. African Americans were incensed by the violence inflicted upon such a young boy for a minor infraction of Mississippi's Jim Crow policies, and the case garnered international outrage when Till's killers were acquitted by ...