A partial transcript of Episode 19 of THE ART MOVEMENT. Click here to listen to the full radio show.
Have you ever heard of Emmett Till? In 1955, Emmett Till, a black kid, was lynched in Mississippi, a state with a strong Ku Klux Klan presence, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store. He was 14-years old.
His swollen, disfigured body was found three days later by two boys who were fishing in the Tallahatchie River. His head was very badly mutilated. After his death, Till became an icon of the Civil Rights Movement. Yet, his killers were acquitted.
The Black Lives Matter movement is offering us a chance to revisit such historical horrors and this show is being recorded on the day after what would have been Till’s 79th birthday. The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation is currently raising awareness for bringing truth, justice and long overdue closure to this historical case. A few days ago, the Foundation launched a petition asking for people’s support. You can find out more about that at emmetttilllegacyfoundation.com.
Among the demands stated on the petition are for the FBI to complete its investigation, and for the case to be moved forward by state authorities with appropriate charge and an indictment of any known accomplice.
In addition, the Foundation demands that an official apology be made to the Till Family from the Federal Government, the Department of Justice, the State of Mississippi and local law enforcement for the human rights violation, wongful death, kidnapping and lynching of Emmett Till, and for the miscarriage and obstruction of justice in the 1955 trial.
London-born music artist ALA.NI is an ambassador for the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation and she released a new song, “Lament for Emmett Till,” on the eve of what would have been Till’s 79th birthday. The song recites a 1955 poem of the same name by the radical activist, journalist and organizer Claudia Jones. All proceeds from the track benefit the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation. This is the song.