Media Coverage of the Emmitt Till Murder Played a Major Role in the Civil Rights Movement

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On August 28, 1955, fourteen year old Emmett Till was beaten, tortured and shot. Then with barbed wire wrapped around his neck and tied to a large fan, his body was discarded into the Tallahatchi River. What was young Emmett’s offense that brought on this heinous reaction of two grown white men? When he went into a store to buy some bubble gum he allegedly whistled at a white female store clerk, who happened to be the store owner’s wife. That is the story of the end of Emmett Till’s life. Lynchings, beatings and cross-burning had been happening in the United States for years. But it was not until this young boy suffered an appalling murder in Mississippi that the eyes of a nation were irrevocably opened to the ongoing horrors of racism in …show more content…
On August 28, 1955, fourteen year old Emmett Till was beaten, tortured and shot. Then with barbed wire wrapped around his neck and tied to a large fan, his body was discarded into the Tallahatchi River. What was young Emmett’s offense that brought on this heinous reaction of two grown white men? When he went into a store to buy some bubble gum he allegedly whistled at a white female store clerk, who happened to be the store owner’s wife. That is the story of the end of Emmett Till’s life. Lynchings, beatings and cross-burning had been happening in the United States for years. But it was not until this young boy suffered an appalling murder in Mississippi that the eyes of a nation were irrevocably opened to the ongoing horrors of racism in the South. It sparked the beginning of a flourish of both national and international media coverage of the Civil Rights violations in America. In the 2005 documentary, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, Emmett’s mother, Mamie states that Sheriff Strider of Charleston decided to have her son’s body buried immediately there in Mississippi instead of sending it back to her in Chicago. It took Mrs. Till’s rallying of Officials in Chicago, where she lived, to have the burying of her son halted at the moment his body was about to be lowered into the ground. She went to great personal expense for her son to be shipped home to her. Upon receiving the box she wanted to see her only child one last time and see what his murderers had done to