President Biden honors Emmett Till and his mother with new national monument

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 12:00 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Biden established a new national monument on Tuesday, honoring Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old who was lynched in Mississippi more than 67 years ago.

On what would have been Emmett Till’s 82nd birthday, President Biden signed a proclamation to create the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley (his mother) National Monument across three different locations in Illinois and Mississippi.

“Only with truth comes healing, justice, repair and another step forward toward forming a more perfect union,” said President Biden. “We got a hell of a long way to go. That’s what’s happening. That’s what’s going to happen with visitors of all backgrounds, to learn the history of Emmett Till moving through our national monument.”

The monument will protect places that tell of the story of Emmett Till’s life and murder and the activism of his mother. They include three locations - the church in Chicago where his mutilated body was displayed in an casket, the location where his body was found and the Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi, where Till’s killers were acquitted after being tried by all-white jury.

The National Park Service will manage the sites which will comprise of 5.70 acres in total.

“The people who are living in Mississippi, and Chicago, who were aware of and familiar with these incidents, they know this history,” said Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “And so we should have a shared understanding of what happened so that we can have a shared vision for how we move forward together.”

Associate Professor of History at Bowie State University, Dr. Roger Davidson said he believes part of the reason why the President signed this proclamation is because hate is on the rise.

“The country is angry. The country’s divided. Ignorance rules the day, ignorance and fear, they rule the day at this point,” said Dr. Davidson. “So he’s trying to show that we have a past that will highlight what will happen if we don’t calm down the hatred and the hateful rhetoric.”

The monument will be the fourth Biden has made since taking office.