This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
RaShawn Thurman ENG 1102 Mr. Borero Historical Analysis Paper Lynching at its Finest August 28, 1955 to some people is just another day in the past. This specific date might not even ring a bell to some people, but to those who are educated on that specific date know how traumatic August 28, 1955 truly was. Everyone is aware that during this time period racism played a huge part in everybody’s live whether you were African-American, Caucasian or even Hispanic. Our ancestors were all racist towards each other for idiotic reasons that started unwanted problems. Racism is hurtful in many ways than one. People do not like to be discriminated against for any reason and it shouldn’t be like that. Although racism was a huge factor in the early 1900’s, it still serves a purpose today. Several people have lost a lot due to acts of racism, including their lives. Although it more frowned upon these days, this special case of Emmet Till did not get so lucky. The Emmet Till case was the starting foundation of the civil rights movement and will always be remembered as one of the most respected hate crimes to date. Emmet Till, born July 25, 1941 was an African-America boy who was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois by Mamie Till (Whitfield 1). Mamie admitted that she had struggled in the past to have children. To her, Emmett was truly her miracle child and losing her only son broke her heart more than the average mother. On August 21, 1955, Emmett and his cousin arrived in Money, Mississippi to spend some quality time with some of Mamie’s extended family, specifically Emmett’s Great Uncle, Moose Wright. Mamie did not think anything that something
Comment [TR2]: I removed my other sentence and added this information. Yes, Emmett was her only son and hopefully this sentence is a little more clear than my previous one. Comment [TR1]: I added how racism has an effect on people. You said before that my statements were too vague, so I am going to try to bring closure to my statements this time around.
would happen to her son, Emmet, solely because he was only to be in Money, Mississippi for a short two weeks (Whitfield 1). Little did she know, sending Emmett to Mississippi would be that last time she would see her son alive. The 1950’s were known to be a time when racism was at its highest point, also known as the spark for the civil rights movement. Although it is not okay for anyone to be murdered, Emmett Till was the victim of both racism and jealousy. Emmett’s murder was something that even today is still frowned upon. Young fourteenyear old (14) Emmett entered a grocery store in Money, Mississippi, down the street from his Great Uncle’s house. According to The Lynching of Emmett Till, Emmett was overly confident with his relationships with his white friends back at home in Chicago, Illinois (Metress 14). His southern cousins dared Emmett to go into the Bryant Grocery Store and say something to the white woman, Carolyn Bryant, which was working the register (Metress 15). Emmett willingly accepted that challenge and moments later found himself making a purchase just to speak to the woman at the counter. Although it is uncertain about what was actually said, some would say that Emmett “wolf whistled” to Carolyn, but we do know that whatever was exchanged between Emmett and the cashier changed how we view the world when it comes to race (Metress 17). Although Emmett was close to the Caucasian race back in Chicago, people treat you different when you enter a different part of the world. Even in today’s society, it is often said that how you get treated in the northern part of the country is different than how people in the south will treat you. No matter your ethnicity, gender or any other stereotype, the average person will get judged. Jealousy is something almost everybody will encounter at some point in their lifetime. It is how you deal with jealousy that makes you the person you are. To most people, Emmett’s action seemed small and even slightly charming, yet this small act is something that angered “southerns” so much that it cost a young man his life. But what was the real reason Roy Bryant
Comment [AB6]: Oh my! This sounds interesting. I wish I knew what it sounded like. Comment [AB3]: I like the narrative mode you are using here and how you are subtly trying to invest this narrative with emotional weight.
Comment [AB4]: I like the trajectory of your narrative, but unfortunately, since you did not include any footnotes, I have no sense of how this context is connecting with your concept? What is your concept? How you are engaging with this context in your concept? As of now, half of the assignment is undone. Comment [AB5]: Nice job introducing your sources.
got so angry over this innocent boy? Roy Bryant and Carolyn might have some other underlying issues and the fact that Emmett “wolf whistled” at Carolyn might have added fuel to the fire. Although no one is certain about what words were exchanged, it resulted in the brutal murder of Emmett Till. Several nights after Emmett spoke to the Carolyn Bryant, her husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. William arrived at Wright’s residence (Emmett Till’s Uncle) and abducted Emmett Till. From there, the pair of them took Emmett to a barn where the brutally murdered the young boy by beating Emmet, gouged out one of his eyes, and shot him in the head (Whitfield 6). If that wasn’t enough torture for Emmett, Roy Bryant and his brother, they tied a seventy (70) pound weight to his neck with barbed wire and disposed of the body in the Tallahatchie River where there the body was discovered and retrieved three (3) days later as it surfaced in the river (Whitfield 8). Both Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam were immediately rearrested when the body appeared. Emmett Till’s defenseless body was soon returned back to Chicago, Illinois to be re-united with his distraught mother, Mamie. Mamie insisted on having a public funeral to show the world the brutality of her son’s murder and to bring justice for Emmett. According to PBS, tens of thousands of people attended Till’s funeral where it was an open casket funeral (PBS par. 2) In this casket laid a disfigured, innocent, little boy who was brutality murder for no reason. This incident rose awareness all through Chicago to bring justice for Emmett and his family who had to live with the pain and suffering. Soon after the incident, Emmett’s open casket pictures ended up being published in the newspaper and stirred up more controversy. Black rallies and white support groups swept the nation all for Emmett Till’s justice. September 24, 1955, Emmett’s case finally had the jury members to go to trial, but everyone was able to agree that it already started off as unfair trial. Till’s trial consisted of
Comment [AB9]: Thus far, your narrative has had excellent flow, your ideas have been very clear, and the writing itself has been direct and engaging. Comment [AB10]: This event is reminding me of a more recent event – the case of Trayvon Martin. Consider what parallels could be made and how referencing this event may even be a good point to make in your pitch essay. You could point out parallels and how commentary on race is still a public discourse. Comment [TR7]: I re-worded my first sentence. You said I need to watch how I speak to my audience and I feel that I wasn’t as harsh this time around. Also, you stated you had no clear idea about my concept. I added in the end of the paragraph a few questions that got me to my concept. It shows that there were more issues going on at the time other than an innocent boy whistling and Carolyn. Comment [AB8]: You did an excellent job of breaking down the event itself, but once again the connection to your concept just is not present.
all-white Mississippi jury that only last sixty-seven (67) minutes. In these sixty-seven (67) minutes of deliberation, both Rob Bryant and J. W. Milam were acquitted for the murder of Emmett Till (Metress 86). The many weeks that lead up to the trial, newspapers and all forms of media shared their voice on the case. It seemed as if everyone knew these two were guilty of murder and just knew that Emmett would get justice, but when they were acquitted, it only made the media share their voice more. There were several unanswered questions that arose after the trail had ceased. Author Christopher Metress of The Lynching of Emmett Till, raised quite a few questions that got the public thinking more about the case. For instance, what really had happened that afternoon in the Bryant grocery? Moreover, how did Milam and Bryant find out about the alleged transgression? Who else besides Milam and Bryant drove out to Mose Wright’s cabin that night, and who were the other men spotted with Milam at the barn the next morning? Were there really black men in Milam’s pickup that evening? If so, who were they and what had happened to them? Finally, how long did Emmett Till remain alive that night, and exactly when, where, why and how did his murder take place? (Metress 90)
Comment [TR12]: I tried to introduce my source more affectively. I noticed I did not even bring in my source in the first place. Comment [AB11]: Do you plan to engage with the case in your concept? There are a lot of directions you can go with this narrative, but as of now, I have no clue what your intentions are.
Comment [AB13]: Introduce your source more effectively.
Reporters and even those who nothing about the legal system knew that because these specific questions hadn’t been answered in full, no one knew the truth about Emmett’s murder. Around this time, the Brown v. Education was in high demand in the media that had everyone feeling as though the system had made a few questionable decisions. At this time, it took a little while for people to fully cope with the idea that someone had gotten away with the murder of a young African-American boy just because “insufficient evidence” (Crowe 6). Little did everyone realize that this case was never going to officially close. Years even decades later, people still search to get justice for Emmitt. In 2004, the court system decided to re-open the Emmitt Till murder case. Although racism isn’t as bad as it was back in the fifties, people still feel sorrow for the Till family. Unfortunately, the re-opening of the case in 2004 came to a dead
Comment [AB14]: What were the results? What are the implications for this in your concept?
end as well. At this point, there wasn’t enough evidence to stand in trial and once again had to dismiss the case. At this point, Roy Bryant had already passed away so in a sense, nothing got answered. An innocent boy was murdered and the murder got away with it. In the earlier trial, both Roy and J. W basically had nothing to say. It was recorded that they simply said that had nothing to do with the murder and the jury made their decision within an hour. Emmett Till’s murder served as a catalyst for a lot of the racism that took place. After the world realized that Emmet Till wasn’t served justice, other influential people took a stand in the world. It is said to believe that this particular case influenced Rosa Parks to not give up her seat. There are so many unanswered questions that need to be resolved before this case can be put to rest. It isn’t okay for someone to get away with murder whether they are black, white, or any other race. It is never okay to commit murder and those who do should be punished according to their crime. Emmett Till will get his justice. It may not be today or even tomorrow, but his case has impacted more lives then he will ever know. i
Comment [AB18]: Your conclusion did a good job of bringing closure to the narrative. Comment [AB19]: Strengths: -Strong narrative flow -Clear narrative and sentence structure -The content is well researched and presented clearly. -The narrative accounts for a lot of complex issues, events, and figures – you provide a very rounded and complete image of the event and focus on specific details. -Word choice is very academic and appropriate for your audience. - You use quotes very effectively throughout your essay, allowing authors to provide commentary that punctuates your narrative rather than simply posing facts. Points from Improvement: -Be conscious of conveying biases through your tone and language -You need to develop your concept in order to articulate how your are engaging with the context you have presented here. -Cultural context, such as information about the time period and pervading views of race could be addressed in more detail. Comment [TR15]: I added the results of the case. I have to admit, I had not done enough research on the closing results. Hopefully, this brings better closure. Comment [AB16]: What were the arguments made by those who said they were innocent? Comment [TR17]: I added what the accused stated. This may seem vague, but there wasn’t much info on their arguments. I wrote what I could find.
Whitfield, Stephen J. A Death in the Delta: The Story of Emmett Till. Baltimore, Maryland: The John Hopkins University Press , 1988. Print.
Metress, Christopher . The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentary Narrative. The University of Virginia Press , 2002. Print.
"The Murder of Emmett Till ." American Experience: PBS. PBS, Web. 10 Feb. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/till/filmmore/index.html>.
Crowe, Chris. Getting Away with Murder . New York, NY: Dial Books, 2003. Web. 10 Feb.
Bradford, William. "Approved Killing in Missisppi ." Web. 10 Feb. <http://www.asdk12.org/staff/miller_roger/pages/US_History/Civil%20Rights/The%20Shocking%20Stor y.pdf>
For my concept, I would want to basically tell the story in a different direction. When I first started looking into this story, I realized there were a lot of holes and unanswered questions. In my version, I would tell it from Carolyn’s side. How she was having an affair with an African American man and was caught by her husband Roy. Roy then grew to have a hate for black people and made a promise that no one would disrespect him or his wife. He took the matters into his own hands by killing the next person to try and get with his wife who then turned out to be Emmett Till.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.