BLACK HISTORY MINUTE!!! Emmett Till (1941 - 1955)
Till was returned to Chicago and his mother, who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing. Tens of thousands attended his funeral or viewed his casket and images of his mutilated body were published in black magazines and newspapers, rallying popular black support and white sympathy across the U.S. Intense scrutiny was brought to bear on the condition of black civil rights in Mississippi, with newspapers around the country critical of the state. Although initially local newspapers and law enforcement officials decried the violence against Till and called for justice, they soon began responding to national criticism by defending Mississippians, which eventually transformed into support for the killers. The trial attracted a vast amount of press attention. Bryant and Milam were acquitted of Till's kidnapping and murder, but months later, protected against double jeopardy, they admitted to killing him in a magazine interview. Till's murder is noted as a pivotal event motivating the African-American Civil Rights Movement.