The House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that will allow the posthumous presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. According to Congress.gov, Congress’ highest civilian honor will be presented to the late mother and son duo and later placed in the National Museum of African American History.
News of the House passage comes over a year after Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., first introduced the bill in February 2021. It passed the Senate earlier this year.
“The courage and activism demonstrated by Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, in displaying to the world the brutality endured by her son helped awaken the nation’s conscience, forcing America to reckon with its failure to address racism and the glaring injustices that stem from such hatred,” Booker said in a statement following the Senate’s passage of the bill.
Till, an African American teen, was abducted, tortured and killed in 1955 after he was accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. His mother insisted on showing his brutalized body in an open casket, shedding light on the harm done to her son; photos of his corpse were published in Jet magazine.
Though Till’s murderers were later acquitted, his killing was a catalyst for the civil rights movement.
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