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
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jan 4, 1995
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