Reflections on the Death of Emmett Till

Reflections on the Death of Emmett Till Anne Sarah Rubin The undisputed facts of the case are simple and few: In August 1955 Mrs. Mamie Till Bradley of Chicago, in need of a vacation, sent her only son to visit her family in the Mississippi Delta. Within two weeks he was dead, beaten and shot by two white men, both of whom were subsequently found not guilty. Beyond this, the "truth" is a matter of speculation, opinion, and debate.1 Fourteen-year-old Emmett "Bobo" Till differed considerably from his southern cousins. He was a self-assured young man, given to pranks and dares and boasting, and willfully unaware of the subtleties of the Jim Crow Mississippi code of racial etiquette. On 24 August, Bobo and eight other teenagers piled into a car and drove to the crossroads hamlet of Money, where they joined about a dozen other blacks congregating outside Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market. Emmett bragged of his familiarity with white girls in Chicago, even claiming that he had a white girlfriend, showing them a white girl's picture in his wallet. A few of the teenagers, hoping to knock the northerner down a peg, dared him to go inside and ask the young white woman behind the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

Reflections on the Death of Emmett Till

Southern Cultures, Volume 2 (1) – Jan 4, 1995

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
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Abstract

Anne Sarah Rubin The undisputed facts of the case are simple and few: In August 1955 Mrs. Mamie Till Bradley of Chicago, in need of a vacation, sent her only son to visit her family in the Mississippi Delta. Within two weeks he was dead, beaten and shot by two white men, both of whom were subsequently found not guilty. Beyond this, the "truth" is a matter of speculation, opinion, and debate.1 Fourteen-year-old Emmett "Bobo" Till differed considerably from his southern cousins. He was a self-assured young man, given to pranks and dares and boasting, and willfully unaware of the subtleties of the Jim Crow Mississippi code of racial etiquette. On 24 August, Bobo and eight other teenagers piled into a car and drove to the crossroads hamlet of Money, where they joined about a dozen other blacks congregating outside Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market. Emmett bragged of his familiarity with white girls in Chicago, even claiming that he had a white girlfriend, showing them a white girl's picture in his wallet. A few of the teenagers, hoping to knock the northerner down a peg, dared him to go inside and ask the young white woman behind the

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 4, 1995

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