Friday, 28 August 2020

the death of emmett till

On this day in 1955, fourteen-year-old Emmet Till (see previously) was murdered in a brutal fashion by two vigilantes after for his alleged offense of a white woman at her family’s grocery store in Money, Mississippi.
His violent death and the subsequent acquittal of his killers focused attention to the persecution and injustice of American apartheid and galvanised the burgeoning civil rights movement. Two years later on the anniversary of the killing, segregationist senator Strom Thurmond representing the state of South Carolina dishonoured Till’s memory by staging his twenty-four long filibuster to prevent the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. The stunt only forestalled the vote until September when it was signed into law. On the same day in 1963, organisers held the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with Martin Luther King Jr delivering his “I Have a Dream” address from the Lincoln Memorial, this non-violent rally and calls to end systemic racism formative in the ways the US and the world view equality and the catalyst for the adoption of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voter Rights Act of the following year.