Transcript of Emmett Till
Timeline of the Events of Emmett Till July 25, 1941 Emmett Louis Till born August 21, 1955 Emmett Till arrives in Mississippi August 24, 1955 Incident at Bryant's Meat & Grocery August 28, 1955 Emmett Till kidnapped and murdered August 29, 1955 J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant arrested for kidnapping Emmett Till August 31, 1955 Emmett Till's body found in the Tallahatchie River September 3-6, 1955 Open-casket viewing in Chicago September 6, 1955 Emmett's funeral in Chicago September 6, 1955 Grand jury indicts Milam and Bryant on kidnapping and murder charges September 9, 1955 Trial date set September 15, 1955 Jet magazine publishes photo of Emmett Till's mutilated corpse September 19, 1955 Trial begins September 21, 1955 Mose Wright testifies; identifies Milam and Bryant as kidnappers September 22, 1955 Emmett's mother testifies September 23, 1955 Jury finds Milam and Bryant not guilty December 5, 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott begins January 24, 1956 "Look" magazine publishes a confession/interview with Milam and Bryant The Murder of Emmett Till Historical Quotes “With adolescent bravado, he whistled at Carolyn Bryant, a white woman. This inadvertent violation of a sacred code of the South cost him his life” (The Murder of Emmett Till: Film Description). “Bryant and Milam kidnapped Till at gunpoint, planning to "teach him a lesson." When their ruthless beating of Till failed to elicit either apology or cry, Milam and Bryant's plan changed course” (Crandall). All of this was started when a little African American boy stepped out of his social standings and supposedly whistled at a white woman. “Tens of thousands of people viewed Emmett Till's body, which was on display in a Chicago church for four long days” (The Murder of Emmett Till: Film Description). Society decided to take a step and show the impact of the murder just by the sheer number of people that showed up for his funeral proved to be a catalyst for the civil rights movement. “After a five-day trial that made an open mockery of the possibility of justice, the defendants were acquitted. The Bryants celebrated, on camera, with a smile and an embrace” (The Murder of Emmett Till: Film Description). Parks later said when she did not get up and move to the rear of the bus, "I thought of Emmett Till and I just couldn't go back"(Crowe). Emmett Till was wronged politcally because the trial for the murders was a complete joke due to the jury being all white. Moses Wright even identified the murders and they still got away with killing Emmett Till. So because the jury was white the murderers of an innocent 14 year old boy were set free. Emmett Till was wronged socially because of the fact that he was an African American boy who whistled at a white woman. If it would have been a white boy the same age as Emmett then it would have been played off as a joke or something cute. However, because Emmett was African American it was seen as a threat and therefore his life was brutaly ended. HAUNTING It is said that Emmett Till’s spirit haunts the Bridge where his body was dumped above the Tallahatchie River. Several citizens of Money, Mississippi claim that late at night they have seen a shadow in the middle of the bridge where Emmett was killed, holding what looks like a coke bottle, and then they heard a faint “wolf whistle” before the shadow disappeared. One woman, age 32, claimed that she heard a voice from her back seat say “Roses, roses on my grave”Full transcript
The story goes that the only way for Emmett to truly rest in peace is for his killer’s family to place a dozen red roses on his grave and say sorry for what their family did to him.
Only then can Emmett truly be released from the place where his life ended.