Mama O reacted to the unfortunate case of Trayvon Martin, saying that it’s the same thing really as Emmett Till. She did, however, add that the country has moved forward from the time of Emmett Till to now.
For those who don’t know, Emmett Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was a 14 year old boy from Chicago, Illinois who got killed in Money, Mississippi when he went to visit his relatives. This all happened because Emmett allegedly flirted with a white girl – Carolyn Bryant. A 21 year old married white girl. Some nights later, her husband, Roy and his half brother J. W. Milam took Emmett from his uncle’s house, beat him up, gouged out one of his eyes, shut him through the head, and then dumped him in the Tallahatchie River. His body was weighted down with a 70 pound fan and was discovered three days later.
The case gained popularity and even sympathy from some white people. But when push came to shove and the case went to trial, Roy Bryant and his brother, J. W. Milam were acquitted of the crime. Months later, though, they admitted in a magazine interview that they did in fact kill Emmett. Because of double jeopardy, they could not be tried again. Emmett Till’s death and trial is considered a very pivotal moment leading up to the American Civil Rights Movement. When it was time for Emmett’s viewing, his mother requested that they have an open casket, so that everyone could see the brutality her son faced.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to completely agree with Oprah. She is also right when she says that there is a difference between that time and now. The issues being tackled, however, are just the same.
What’s the difference?