"We cannot afford the luxury of self pity. Our top priority now is to get on with the building process. My personal peace has come through helping boys and girls reach beyond the ordinary and strive for the extraordinary. We must teach our children to weather the hurricanes of life, pick up the pieces, and rebuild. We must impress upon our children that even when troubles rise to seven-point- one on life’s Richter scale, they must be anchored so deeply that, though they sway, they will not topple"
-Mamie Till Mobley mother of Emmett Louis Till
This quote is taken from her speech given at the dedication of the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama on November 5, 1989.
Remembering Emmett Till
Today we remember Emmett Till, a 14-year-old child who was brutally murdered in Mississippi for purportedly “flirting with a white female”. Had Emmett Till lived he would have been 72 years old today. This high profile case was investigated by Medgar Evers whose life was also brutally shortened due to the fear and proliferation of racism in the Jim Crow south. On July 18, Willie Louis, a witness in the case of Emmett Till, passed away at the age of 76. Even with testimonies from witnesses, the murderers were acquitted of this heinous crime. Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, held an open casket funeral for her son so that the world could see the brutality faced by black Americans.
Emmett Till’s story was a spark for the Civil Rights Movement and it shook “the foundations of Mississippi, both black and white—with the white community because it had become nationally publicized, with us blacks, because it said not even a child was safe from racism and bigotry and death.”
- Myrlie Evers, widow of Medgar Evers