a black life for a white lie

Reads: 64  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 3

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

this is a story about a boy named emmit till.

Emmett till: A Black Life for a White Lie  

Emmet was born on July 25th, 1941, in Chicago, IL. He was born to Mamie Till and Louis Till. Emmett grew up in a booming, middle-class, African American neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Emmett's family and friends described him as funny, responsible, and infectiously exuberant. At the age of 5 though, Emmett was diagnosed with Polio but managed to make a full recovery. Emmett grew up helping his single mom with her duties around the house since his parents got divorced and his father had been lynched due to his alleged rape and murder of a woman while he was serving in the Army.  


In August 1955, Till’s great uncle came to Chicago from Mississippi to visit the family. At the end of his visit, he was going to take Emmett’s cousin back to Mississippi to visit his other relatives, and when Emmett heard about his plans, he begged his mother to let him go. Against her better judgment, Emmett's mother made the fateful decision to let Emmett go on the trip. Little did she know, her decision would change their lives forever and have a grave impact on the course of African American History. On August 20th, 1955 Mamie took her son to the 63rd street train station in Chicago. They kissed goodbye, Emmett boarded the train, and that was the last time Mamie till saw her son recognizable and alive.  


August 24th, 1955, three days after arriving in Mississippi, Emmett, his cousin, and a group of teenage boys entered Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market, to buy refreshments after a long day of picking cotton in the hot afternoon sun. While Emmett was in the store, he bought a pack of bubble gum. What exactly happened inside of the store will never be known. From the bit of evidence that the police could gather, it is believed that Emmett allegedly was flirting, whistling, and/or touching the hands of the store's Caucasian female clerk. Four days later, Carolyn Bryant’s husband Roy Bryant came home from a business trip and learned about the encounter and was not happy about it.  


On the deadly day of August 28th, an enraged Roy went to the home of Emmett's uncle, along with his half-brother J.W Milam, in the early hours of the morning. At approximately 2:30 A.M, Roy and J.W kidnapped 14-year-old Emmett at gunpoint and drove him to the Tallahatchie River where things took a deadly turn. His assailants, (Roy and J.W), made Emmett carry a 75-pound cotton gin fan to the bank of the Tallahatchie River and ordered him to take his clothes off. The two murderers then beat Emmett nearly to death, gouged out one of his eyes, shot him in the head, tied his mutilated body to the fan with barbed wire, and threw him into the river. Emmett's corpse was found three days after his cousin reported him missing. After his corpse was recovered, it was so disfigured and swollen from being in the water that Emmett's cousin could only name him with the ring on his finger that his mother had given him before he had gone on that fatal trip. Authorities wanted to bury the body quickly to cover up the murder of course, but Emmett’s mother demanded that his body be sent back to Chicago. After viewing the mutilated remains of her son, Mamie decided to have an open-casket funeral so that the world could see what racism can do to an innocent life 


I think that no one could have predicted that this small allegation would have gone this far and have such a gruesome ending. Racism, White supremacy and discrimination happen all over the world and continue to happen to this day. This event is important to not only black history but to all history as well. The murder of Emmett till is only one of the many ways that hateful Caucasian Americans show their hate towards African Americans. Emmett’s murder should be a learning experience for all races, colors, body types, and religions around the world. Emmett’s brutal murder should show not only that when someone hates a certain race, they don’t care about how young they are, or what gender they are, or how it will affect the lives of their family, but it should also show that Caucasian Americans shouldn’t be allowed to just kill African Americans because they feel a certain type of way about their skin color and race. I hope that Emmett’s story continues to get told and all the other tragic stories that happen to targeted people get told all over the world so that those who don’t believe and don’t know about white supremacy and racism can learn about it and try to care and do something to stop this worldwide issue from happening. In a 2017 interview, Emmett’s accuser Carolyn Bryant admitted that she had lied about the claims she had made and said that Emmett never made any advances towards her. My heart and condolences go out to Emmett’s remaining family and friends, and to those who have lost their loved ones due to Racism and violence. We should all work together as one to stop these tragic situations from happening to innocent people 

Submitted: March 09, 2021

© Copyright 2021 K'J. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Roxanne Byrne

What a tragic story. Thank you for writing this and sharing it with others. It's beyond disturbing that this ever happened to anyone and it's awful that things like this continue to happen to this day. White supremacy must be stopped, like you said, and it takes people speaking out about it and sharing stories like yours. Great work!

Wed, March 10th, 2021 7:38pm


Omg Thank you so much for showing my article some support! It's greatly appreciate ?? And yes, it was and still is sad that this happened to this young man. Thank you for your comment ????

Wed, March 10th, 2021 11:42am

Facebook Comments

Boosted Content from Other Authors

Short Story / Action and Adventure

Book / Action and Adventure

Short Story / Romance

Short Story / Non-Fiction

Other Content by K'J