Emmett Till and his Mother Digital History ID 4040

Emmett Till and his Mother

Credit: Library of Congress
Media type: photograph
Museum Number: cph 3f06304
Annotation: In 1955, the brutal murder of Emmett Till at age 14 during a visit to Money, Mississippi, shocked the nation. His mother insisted that his badly tortured body be displayed at the funeral in hopes that his mutilated remains would communicate a direct message about the brutality of racism than mere words would ever be able to. Theresa Joiner grew up in the same neighborhood as Emmett "Bobo" Till: Everybody was holding hands and somewhat going in a circle, filing and going by. There was a clear plate glass over the coffin. And I just remember looking down, and an awful scene. I remember the kids saying, "Is that Bobo?" Some of the kids were saying, "Look what they did to Bobo." Kids were just in awe; just frightened and saying, "Why did they do that? Why did they do that to him? What did he do? What happened?" It didn't make any sense. -Theresa Joiner
Year: 1955

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