Biography. • Mamie was born in 1921 in Webb, Mississippi. • In 1924, her family moved to Argo, Illinois, where Mamie would initially bring up Emmett. • She was the first black female to make the A Honor Roll. • She had Emmett on July 25th, 1941. • She has been married three times. • She died of heart failure in 2003, the same year her autobiography, The Death Of Innocence, was published.
Death of Emmett Till.On August 24th 1955, Emmett Tillentered a store in Sumner , Mississippi,and supposedly whistled at a whitewoman. The exact events are unclear.On August 28th 1955, the woman’shusband and his brother enteredEmmett’s uncle’s house (where he wasstaying) at 2-3am and took Emmett.They then brutally murdered him.On September 23rd 1955, his murderers Emmett Till.were acquitted of the crime.
Mamie’s Decision. After Emmett’s death, Mamie made the decision to have an open casket at Emmett’s funeral. This was particularly brave of her, because the extreme injuries Emmett had sustained. 50 000 gathered to see his body. She said on this: “I wanted the world toEmmett in his open casket. see what they did to my baby”. His face was severelydistorted by his torture and And they did. This act inspired murder. many others.
Rosa Parks.“I thought of Emmett Till and I couldn‟t go back”/”I am sothankful for the bravery and courage Mamie demonstratedwhen she shared her only child with the world. The news ofEmmett‟s death caused many people to participate in the cryfor justice and equal rights, including myself” – Rosa Parks. Everybody knows who Rosa Parks is, but it’s often overlooked who inspired her.
Other people inspired by Mamie.• Cassius Clay/Mohammed Ali – “[Mamie] had done a bold thing. She refused to let [Emmett] be buried until hundreds of thousands marched past his open casket in Chicago and looked down at his mutilated body. [I] felt a deep kinship to him when I learned he was born the same year and day I was. My father talked about it at night and dramatized the crime. I couldn’t get Emmett out of my mind.”• Bob Dylan – wrote the song “The Death Of Emmett Till”: „Emmett‟s body floated in the Jim Crow Southern sea‟.
Mamie’s Actions.• Toured with the NAACP across the country relating her son’s murder and trial. This was the most successful fundraising tour in the NAACP’s history.• Set up the Emmett Till Foundation, along with her mother, Alma Carthan. This foundation is committed to “teaching boys and girls to become responsible American citizens and serious scholars as well as becoming well-versed in Christian living”