The Murder Of Emmett Till
Emmett Louis Till was a young African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14. He was caught flirting with a white woman, which in those days was a unwritten law, the young woman notified her husband (the owner of the store) and his friend. Later that day the two men stormed the house in which young Till was settling in, demanding to see the boy, till confessed to what he did and was taken to a barn, beaten with a rod and was gouged in the eye, before being shooting in the head.
A few days later Till’s body was found in the Tallahatchie river, Till’s mother ( Mamie Till) was notified of her sons brutal murder, she told the Chicago police, and a search of the area was conducted, Mose Wright (Mammie Till’s 64-year-old uncle) told Mississippi police who had taken Emmett. Roy Bryant and his half brother J.W Milam were arrested. The trial was held in a segregated court, the jury found the brothers innocent, due to there being not enough evidence to prove it was Till’s body. The trial attracted a vast crowd and media attention, Bryant and Milam were acquitted of Till’s murder, but months later, protected against double jeopardy, the two men admitted to Till’s murder to a local newspaper.
Unwritten law is most commonly found in primitive societies where illiteracy is prevalent. Just something you know you can’t do, in Emmett’s case, whistle at a white lady. It wasn’t illegal, but you just couldn’t do it, an unwritten law is a law made up by society.
Back in the 40’s and 50’s racism was at its crowning in the United States, such things as segregation were implicated to make sure no black man stood in the way of a white fellow. In Emmett’s case, the all-white jury’s verdict had obviously been made accustom to the color of the defendants skin color. This sense of injustice was not scarce in those days, especially in a state such as Mississippi were things like this couldn’t slide and the laws were much...
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