Looks like the Senate is doing something right.
The U.S. Senate passed a bill that will posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Emmett Till, a Black teenager from Chicago who was murdered by white men in August 1955, and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, who wanted an open casket funeral for her son to show the brutality of his murder to the world, according to the Associated Press.
Emmett, who was 14 at the time of his murder, was tortured and killed by K.W. Milam and his half-brother Roy Bryant, after Bryant’s wife, Carolyn, claimed he whistled to her at a grocery store in Drew, Mississippi. Which at the time was considered breaking societal rules. As a result, Milam and Bryant abducted Emmett and eventually killed him.
Both men were arrested, but an all-white, all-male jury found them not guilty. Doesn’t sound all too different from what happens now.
According to Vanity Fair, Carolyn Bryant testified that Emmett grabbed and threatened her and said she was “scared to death.” The judge ruled that was not relevant to Emmett’s murder. As as a result, the jury did not hear Carolyn’s testimony.
Decades later, Carolyn admitted that she fabricated the part of her testimony that claimed Emmett made threats towards her.
So she straight up lied and a Black woman lost her son and she still has faced no consequences.
Emmett’s murder and Mamie’s actions highlighted the treatment of Black people all across the world and made it so white America could no longer ignore the discrimination and racism that Black people went through daily. These events catalyzed the civil rights movement and galvanized social activists to take action.
More from the Associated Press on how the bill came to be:
Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J. and Richard Burr, R-N.C., introduced the bill to honor Till and his mother with the highest civilian honor that Congress awards. They described the legislation as a long-overdue recognition of what the Till family endured and what they accomplished in their fight against injustice.
The House version of the legislation is sponsored by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. He also has sponsored a bill to issue a commemorative postage stamp in honor of Mamie Till-Mobley.
That’s a good way to put it, long-overdue because it should not have taken this long for Emmett and Mamie’s sacrifices to be recognized by the U.S. government.
Recently a documentary was released by ABC that takes a look at the pain and impact of Emmett’s murder and Mamie’s fight for justice.