On August 28, 1955, two white men beat to death Emmet Till, a fourteen-year-old African-American boy from Chicago who was visiting relatives in Mississippi. Till had reportedly flirted (events are disputed) with the white wife of one of the murderers at a local grocery store. The killing took place four nights after the incident at Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market, when Bryant's husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam, broke into the home where Till was staying and drove him to a barn, where they beat him, gouged out one of his eyes, and shot him, the dropped his body in the Tallahatchie River. His body was discovered three days later.
At Till's public funeral in Chicago, and in images appearing across the nation, thousands saw Till's severely mutilated body, drawing attention to the problem of lynching and new support for protection of civil rights for blacks in the Deep South. Bryant and Milam were tried for the murder of till in late 1955, but acquitted by an all-white Mississippi jury. Protected by the double jeopardy clause, Bryant and Milam admitted killing Till in a 1956 magazine interview. The widely publicized trial is considered apivotal event in the Civil Rights Movement.
Emmett Till (Wikipedia)
FBI Records: Emmett Till
The Murder of Emmett Till (PBS)
"Mississippi Madness: The Story of Emmett Till"
"Emmett Till Traveling Exhibit - Teaching Resource Links"
"The Murder of Emmett Louis Till: The Spark that Started the Civil Rights Movement"
The Killers Confession in Look Magazine "The Shocking Story of Approved killing in Mississippi"
Emmett Till's mother, Mamie Mobley, insisted on an open casket during his funeral
Original Jet Magazine Article (pgs 6-9)
"Justice, Delayed But Not Denied" (CBS)
"A black requiem played to old music" (The Guardian)
"Feds to Re-Open Case of 1955 Murder of Emmett Till" (NPR)
"Civil Rights: Emmett Till's Murder" Life Magazine Slide Show
"F.B.I Discovers Trial Transcript in Emmett Till Case" (NY Times)
"Emmett Till and the Impact of Images: Photos of Murdered Youth Spurred Civil Rights Activism" (NPR)
Image of the courtroom during the trial
"The Murder and the Movement"
"The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till"
The jury is seated in the front two rows.
"A Case Study in Southern Justice: The Emmett Till Case" Thesis by Hugh Stephen Witaker
Crowe, Chris. Getting Away with Murder. (Dial, 2003)
Houck, Davis W. and Matthew A. Grindy. Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press. (University Press of Mississippi, 2010)
Metress, Christopher. The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentary Narrative. (University of Virginia Press, 2002)
Till-Mobley, Mamie. Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America. (Random House, 2003)
Whitefield, Stephen. A Death in the Delta: The Story of Emmett Till. (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991)
Wright, Simeon. Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till. (Lawrence Hill Books, 2011)