Four months before Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus, Emmett Till’s murder contributed to the Civil Rights Movement. Unfortunately this case has been hidden by misinformation until Emmett’s cousin, Simeon Wright, relays this eyewitness account. Emmett Till came to visit Mississippi but he does not understand the unspoken code of conduct for African Americans; his cousin calls him an outsider. While visiting the local grocery store, Emmett whistles at a white woman. On the following early morning, Emmett is forcefully taken and murdered. Simeon provides additional details about the case, misinformation that still circulates and efforts to reopen the case. In 2008, the “Till Bill” which allows unsolved civil rights murders before 1970 to be reinvestigated was passed and provides a fitting tribute to Emmett Till. This primary and well-written source provides a much needed factual account of this significant but minor chapter in the Civil Rights Movement. However due to the event’s obscurity, it is difficult to know for whom this story might appeal. It perhaps can serve best high school and college students wanting good and in-depth narratives about the Civil Rights Movement.
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