Biden to Announce National Monument Honoring Emmett Till and His Mother

Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley (Credit: Library of Congress)

President Joe Biden is expected to sign a proclamation this week establishing a national monument honoring Mamie Till-Mobley and her son Emmett Till, the Black teenager who was lynched while visiting relatives in Mississippi in 1955.

Biden will officially announce the monument on Tuesday, July 25 — which would have been Emmett’s 82nd birthday, the Associated Press and CNN reported this weekend.

Chicago native Emmett, 14, was visiting the Mississippi Delta region, when he was accused of whistling at a White woman at a local store. Days later, he was abducted, beaten, lynched and shot.

He died on Aug. 28, 1955. His shocking death prompted Civil Rights activists into action across the U.S.

Related StoryMississippi Grand Jury Refuses to Indict Emmett Till Accuser

An all-White jury acquitted Emmett’s killers. But calls for justice continued to 2022, when a Mississippi grand jury refused to indict Emmett’s accuser, Carolyn Bryant Donham, claiming there was insufficient evidence. Donham died earlier this year at age 88.

The Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument will be spread across three sites in Illinois and Mississippi — at key locations in the Till story.

The locations for the monument will include the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ on the South Side of Chicago, where Emmett’s mother held an open-casket funeral showing the world the horrific injuries inflicted on her son.

The two other locations are Graball Landing in Miss., which is said to be where the teen’s body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River; and the Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse in Sumner, Miss. where Till’s killers were acquitted.

“The new monument will protect places that tell the story of Emmett Till’s too-short life and racially-motivated murder, the unjust acquittal of his murderers, and the activism of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, who courageously brought the world’s attention to the brutal injustices and racism of the time, catalyzing the Civil Cights movement,” a White House spokesperson told CNN.

A critically acclaimed Hollywood film titled Till on Emmett’s life and his mother’s painful fight for justice was released in October 2022.

The movie from MGM’s Orion Pictures starred Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till Mobley and Jalyn Hall as Emmett Till. The film from writer-director Chinonye Chukwu picked up several critics awards and received widespread praise for Deadwyler’s performance.

An ABC limited series Women of the Movement also recounted the story of Emmett Till and his mother. The historical drama series starring Adrienne Warren as Mamie and Cedric Joe as Emmett premiered in January 2022.

The project was based on the book Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement by Devery S. Anderson. The series won an outstanding writing NAACP Image Award for Marissa Jo Cerar.