Who Was Mamie Till?

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The death of Emmett Till was a spark that fueled the Civil Rights Movement. Mamie Till-Mobley is the author of Death of Innocence a book documenting the life, death, and legacy of Emmett Till. But Mamie was more than just an author who, like many, was inspired by Emmett; she was a courageous woman who knew Emmett long before he became a symbol of Civil Rights. She was Emmett’s mother, who took care of him as a child, would refuse to have a closed casket funeral for her brutally murdered son and held the strength inside her to inspire many main players in the Civil Rights Movement to stand up and fight for their rights. Mamie was utterly committed to Emmett, her little Bo. t do much. Emmett became extremely sick when he was five, and the family didn’t know what was wrong with him until “the doctor gave [them] the diagnosis that broke [their] heart: polio” (Till-Mobley 38). Mamie heard the doctors say that Emmett would have permanent limb damage. She looked after Emmett every night when she got home from work. Even though Mamie knew there wasn’t much she could do to help Emmett, she still sat there every night with her child, trying to make sure that her son was okay Even when polio left Emmett with a terrible stutter, Mamie was there, helping Emmett learn how to speak around his stutter (Till-Mobley 38). Through Emmett’s childhood recounted through Mamie’s eyes, the reader sees how dearly Mamie loved her baby boy. When Mamie received the body of that beloved son, it came with a message from the Mississippi government. The State of Mississippi had tried every way to make sure that no one saw Emmett’s mangled body. Every person involved in bringing Emmett back from Mississippi signed papers to make sure that the box containing his body was not opened. But Mamie refused to even consider not opening the box saying, “you see, I didn’t sign any papers…and I dare them to sue me” (Till-Mobley 133) When she opened the box she saw the barely recognizable face of her only...
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