Murdered Chicago teenager Emmett Till, mother Mamie Till-Mobley awarded Congressional Gold Medal

WASHINGTON – The Senate has passed a bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Emmett Till, a Chicago teenager murdered by white supremacists in the 1950s, and his mother, Mamie Till- Mobley, who insisted on holding an open coffin funeral to demonstrate the brutality of his murder.

Till was kidnapped, tortured and killed after witnesses said he whistled at a white woman at a grocery store in rural Mississippi, a violation of segregationist social norms. race of the South at that time. In return, he was rolled out of bed and abducted from a great-uncle’s home in the first hours four days later.

The murder spurred the civil rights movement after Till’s mother insisted on an open coffin and Jet magazine published pictures of his brutalized body.

RELATED: Federal investigation into Emmett murder through 1955 officially closed, family says

Sens. Cory Booker, DN.J. and Richard Burr, RN.C., introduced a bill honoring Till and his mother with the highest civilian honor conferred by Congress. They describe the law as a long-overdue recognition of what the Till family has endured and what they have achieved in their fight against injustice.

The House version of the law was sponsored by Congressman Bobby Rush, D-Ill. He also sponsored a bill to issue commemorative postage stamps in honor of Mamie Till-Mobley.

RELATED | ‘Women of the Movement’ looks back on the kidnapping, murder of Emmett Till

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Dais Johnston

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