Emmett Till And His Mother Will Be Awarded Congress’ Highest Honor

With a unanimous vote, the House passed a bill Wednesday to award the late Emmett Till and his mother Mamie Till-Mobley the Congressional Gold Medal, AP reports.

This comes after the Senate’s version of the bill– sponsored by Sen. Corey Booker– passed in January 2022.

“The courage and activism demonstrated by Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, in displaying to the world the brutality endured by her son helped awaken the nation’s conscience, forcing America to reckon with its failure to address racism and the glaring injustices that stem from such hatred,” Booker said in a January statement.

In 1955, at 14-years-old, Till was murdered and lynched after being falsely accused of threatening a white woman. Till-Mobley insisted that her son had an open casket funeral to show the extent of the brutality he faced.

As the Washington Post reports, “the press took pictures of Till with a bullet in the skull, an eye gouged out and his head partially crushed. His body had been found floating in the Tallahatchie River, identifiable only by the ring Till wore that belonged to his late father.”

More than 60 years later, his accuser, Carolyn Bryant Donham, revealed she lied about the incident. This year, however, a Mississippi grand jury declined to indict her.

Till-Mobley taught special education in Chicago and co-authored a book about her son, “The Death of Innocence,” which was released in 2003, the year she passed away.

As AP reports, Congress had failed to pass legislation honoring the Till family after 200 attempts. The medal will be housed at the National Museum of African American History and displayed near the casket in which the Till was buried.

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