"Leave The Casket Open...I Want The World To See What They Did To My Boy!"

Mamie Till Mobley was born on November 23, 1921 in Webb, Mississippi and soon migrated to Argo, Illinois with her parents. Young Mamie inherited a strong sense of morality and work ethic from her parents Alma Spearman and John Carthan. Mamie excelled in all areas of academic achievement which spawned her interest and desire to become an educator and seized every moment as a teaching opportunity. She was a graduate from Chicago Teacher’s College and obtained a Master’s Degree from Loyola University.


Mamie responded to her spiritual calling serving as church clerk, youth leader, Sunday School teacher and missionary. She eagerly accepted the offer to join as a founding member of Evangelistic Crusaders C.O.G.I.C. and continued her civic activism until her death.

Mamie was thrust into the precarious role of pioneer for justice when she made a brave decision to publicly expose the deeply entrenched racism that saturated Southern towns. After viewing the savagely murdered body of her 14-year old son, she knew that there were no words that could ever describe the horror that any person, let alone a mother, could ever witness. It was at that moment she made the intrepid decision to have an open-casket funeral exposing Emmett Till's remains. The ability to allow her personal pain to fuel her public passion and activism aroused the consciences of Black America sparking the Civil Rights Movement. Rather than sitting quiet, Mamie organized the Emmett Till Players, a touring troupe of youth who utilized their gifts and skills of oration for empowerment of others to become “the best they could be”. . .

Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly whistling at a white woman, 21 year old Carolyn Bryant. Several nights later, Bryant's husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam arrived at Till's great-uncle's house where they took Till out of his warm bed at gunpoint, transported him to a barn, beat and tortured him, gouging out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head, and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire, never to be seen again. His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later.

 

 

 

 

Click Image for Historical Information about Emmett Louis Till.