Emmett Till and the Civil Rights Movement, Free Essay Sample

Published: 2022-02-23
Emmett Till and the Civil Rights Movement, Free Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Racism Civil rights
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 958 words
8 min read

Emmett Till was an African-American 14-year-old boy who became famous after being lynched in 1955 for whistling at a white woman. He was brought up in a town known as Argo located outside of Chicago. However, in August 1995, he decided to travel south from Chicago and reunite with his relatives who lived in Mississippi. After eight days, he was brutally murdered by two men. Through his murder, a revolution began to protect the black Americans from being discriminated in the south and be treated as equals. Emmett Till was characterized as a cheerful, brave, and a joker who was always accommodating regardless of the stutter bout caused by polio.

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Emmett's mother was worried about his son's behavior would land him into problems while staying with the extended family, since the area was not friendly to the black loving in the community. His mother warned his son about the consequences of involving himself with the whites living in the city. One day Emmett returned carrying a pine box filled with lime, his face was beaten up and bloated, one of the eyes was missing while the other eye was hanging halfway down on his cheek while his skull was severely damaged with a hole caused by a bullet. On 28th of August 1955 at 2 am, Emmett was taken out of his Uncle's house by Roy Bryant and JW Milan, who accused him of flirting with Bryant's wife known as Carol who had gone out to do some shopping (Anderson 560). The previous day, Emmett told his cousin that he flirted with a white woman who was doing shopping at the store. The white men tortured him in a barn before shooting and killing him. However, a young black American boy who happened to be passing near the barn heard horrifying noises and later saw something being loaded onto the truck, which happened to be Emmett's body, which was later found by a fisherman at the Tallahatchie River three days later.

The death of Emmett brought up a revolution in Mississippi after the jury acquitted the people involved in the murder case. These led to protests organized by Josephine Bakers who pushed for Emmett's justice up to the White House. A lot of rallies were held from different parts of United States, for instance, Emmett's mother addressed people in Harlem together with the leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the NAACP), as well as the Abyssinian Baptist Church, and black unions.

In November, civil rights activist groups led by an activist known as T.R.M Howard spoke addressed the death of Till at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. At that time Martin Luther King Jr, was the pastor of the Church, while one of the members of the group was Rosa Parks who stood up her rights in the bus for a white man (Tyson 291). Over the previous year's most of the black men and boys were killers, and the culprits associated with their deaths were never arrested or taken to trial. However, after the death of Emmett, the black community decided to stand for their rights and seek justice for the people who had lost their lives because of racial discrimination in the country. Through the death of the young boy, the black communities came together from different part of Mississippi and Chicago that were divided but not affected by the migration policy, which started in 1915 whereby a large group of African- Americans was displaced from their homes. Through this approach, investigations based on the death began, and the culprits were taken to trial.

However, before the demise of Emmett, the Supreme Court in the case of Brown made a ruling versus Board of Education declaring that it was unconstitutional for the state to come up with schools for the black and white students. This case brought reforms in the legal structures of the government and there transparency in the country (Till-Mobley and Benson 320). This win gave the black Americans confidence in fighting the white community who were against them in the city. The white community joined forces with the blacks in fighting injustices in the society as well as in colleges. However, some white people were against the concept of their siblings sharing classes with the black Americans. Statistics show that the whites killed over 4,000 African- Americans in the Southern state as a way of instilling fear to them. However, over 200 bills were introduced to the Congress to protect the blacks, but Southern Democrats rejected them. After a series of revolution, the Senate gave a formal apology for failing to amend the anti-lynching bills. Through these reforms in the government, the blacks are well represented in the society. In addition, blacks in the United States are given equal opportunities in government agencies, and their interests are well served.

In conclusion, after leading a low-key life, Emmett's death is considered one of the key factors that led to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. His death helped make it clear for the need for Americans, especially African-Americans, to fight for equal rights. The move led to changes in the policy of the United States, and people were treated as equals regardless of their skin color, gender, or culture. In addition, activists groups were formed that helped in fighting for blacks in the society.

Works Cited

Anderson, Devery S. Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement. University Press of Mississippi, 2015.

Till-Mobley, Mamie and Christopher Benson. Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America. Random House Publishing Group, 2011.

Tyson, Timothy B. The Blood of Emmett Till. Simon and Schuster, 2017.

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