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 Emmet Till 
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After watching that 60 Minutes piece in class it got me thinking about the role Emmet's death played in the overall Civil Rights movement. Till's role was a passive one whereas many other more well-known activists, Rosa Parks, the Greensboro sit-in guys, had active roles. I wanted to see what the rest of you thought about this, that maybe Emmet's death was almost like a sacrificial one that got the ball rolling with Civil Rights.

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Ben


Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:09 am
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Honestly, I don't think Emmett's death was sacrificial or something that got the ball rolling with Civil Rights. African Americans were being beaten, tortured, murdered, hanged, and lynched for centuries before Emmett and, sadly, it continued after Emmett. I'm sure it did play a part in the Civil Rights as a sort of hindsight thing rather than an instigator. Civil Rights Activists used his death in the sixties to remind people what they were fighting for (and against) - 'Remember this? Remember Emmett? It can't happen again. We need to take a stand' etc. I'm not sure we'd even know about or remember Emmett Till if it hadn't been for his mother wanting everyone to see, remember, and learn from her son and the propaganda of the Civil Rights Movement. We don't remember the thousands of others. Sad but true.

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Natalie Brady


Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:08 pm
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I asked my parents if they had heard of the Emmet Till case and my father had. It was common in that day to hear of such actions performed by white people. It is sad that this had to happen but I do think that when the details and information spread, it had a large influence on Civil Rights. Pictures can speak a thousand words and the picture of Emmet Till is still in my head. It is hard for me to comprehend how someone could do this to another human being. I am glad to know that I can live in a generation where this is NOT a common occurance.

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Ashley Rebecca Brooks


Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:17 pm
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I get both your points and think that's an accurate way to look at it, because incidents like this did occur alot before and after Emmet's death. This particular event really seems to stick in people's minds, like Ed Bradley said, because of that picture. I have to say though that his mother was pretty brave for doing that.

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Ben


Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:53 pm
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I agree with the other statements said in that I don't necessarily think this event started the whole Civil Rights Movement, but that it was one of many sad occurrences that happened. I also agree with Ben that it was really brave of his mother to show that picture of him. It just shows that she felt really strongly as a parent, as would any parent if that happened to their child when they were sent to spend time with relatives.

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Laura Davis


Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:57 pm
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I would have to say that Emmit Till's death did play a major roll in the beginning of the civil rights movements. Even though this was not a situation that brought about action as much as I think a want or like and eye opener for those who were trying to live life like these sort of things were not going on. I think that after a while this situation brought more than just blacks to see a need for change in society.

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Danielle L Epley


Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:22 pm
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Our society is fortunate to have people like Mamie Bradley who are willing to stand up for human rights despite the potential risks. It takes a certain kind of courage that many people don't openly possess. It's great that she took on the risks of challenging the majority.

This kind of brutality should never go unnoticed.

I definitely feel like the death of Emmett Till was a pivotal moment in the fight for Civil Rights. It wasn't the first time this had happened and it also unfortunately it wasn't the last, but since it was highly publicized it had a much farther reach. Without the publicity it wouldn't have ever escaped the south.

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Jonathan M. Sykes


Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:29 pm
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I like that point that Natalie made about how it's likely that we wouldn't even know who Emmit Till was if it hadn't been for his mother wanting the world to see the gruesomeness that resulted from his torture. I don't think that it sparked or got the ball rolling -or however you wanna say it- for the black people in the south to fight for their rights. We have to remember that they saw these things all the time, it was nothing new to anyone in the deep south. I think if anything, the picture served as a slap in the face to everyone who knew about these things going on and just accepted them as a commonality, and I'm speaking specifically for the apathetic white folks in the US. Trying to be as sensitive as possible, I say well done for his mother putting it out there. She knew how particularly gruesome his remains were, and she knew this was going to be the one that made a splash for a wider range of Americans.


Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:47 pm
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