Originally published 07/23/2013
Beyonce has urged supporters of Trayvon Martin to be inspired by the protests that followed the death of another black teenager, Emmett Till. She is only one of a number of Americans who have drawn a parallel between the two cases - though others point out there are major differences. So who was Till?After attending an event in New York in memory of teenager Martin, who was shot dead in Florida, the pop singer wrote a message on her website."We have made so much progress and cannot allow hatred and racism to divide us," she wrote. "When we all join together, people of all races, we have the power to change the world we live in. We must fight for Trayvon the same way the generation before us fought for Emmett Till."In the summer of 1955, the 14-year-old Till was far from home when his life ended in a most violent way, apparently for whistling at a white woman....
Originally published 02/08/2013
Emmett Till at the age of 14.Emmett Louis Till, who went by the nickname “Bobo,” was murdered on August 28, 1955 by Roy Bryant and his half-brother J. W. Milam near Money, Mississippi. Till was a Chicago native, but spent the summer visiting family in the Mississippi Delta. He was abducted from his uncle Moses Wright's home by Bryant and Milam. They tortured Till before killing him, dumping his body in the Tallahatchie River. The event became a catalyst for the burgeoning civil rights movement, which mobilized against the senseless violence inflicted against African Americans.Bryant and Milam went after the fourteen-year-old boy after hearing that Till flirted with his wife, Carolyn. Till and seven of his cousins visited a small grocery store owned by the Bryants on August 24, 1955. Roy Bryant was away from the store working a second job as a truck driver, so his wife and her sister-in-law Juanita Milam were running the store. Though the precise details of what followed remain uncertain, Till allegedly made suggestive comments towards Carolyn Bryant while in the store, and possibly even whistled at her and touched her hand or waist.
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