1955-2004 SPECIAL REPORT: MAMIE TILL

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Mamie Till-Mobley's activism extended far beyond what she did in regards to her son's death. However, since her son's death became symbolic for many of the lynchings going on in the South during the mid-1950s, some history books only reference her in relation to him. Following Emmett's death she continued working as an activist. A large part of her work centered around education. She worked throughout her life to help children living in poverty. Her activism in this field lasted over 40 years. She spent 23 years teaching in the Chicago public school system. She established a group called "The Emmett Till Players," which worked with school children outside of the classroom. The members learned and performed famous speeches by civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr..She also spent a great deal of time contributing to knowledge production. She was frequently interviewed for documentary films and began working on a book which was published after she died. #emmetttill #blackhistory #civilrightsmovement She was a very sought-after speaker. Till-Mobley began holding speaking engagements soon after Emmett died. The NAACP hired her to go on a speaking tour around the country and share what happened to Emmett, making it one of the most successful fundraising tours in NAACP history. Despite the tour being a huge success, Mamie, and the NAACP quickly ended it due to a business dispute with executive secretary Roy Wilkins of the NAACP over payment for her being on tour. Even without the support of the NAACP, Till-Mobley continued to be an influential speaker throughout her life.[citation needed] She flew down to Mississippi and gave testimony at the trial her son's murderers. At the time the case was prominent news and she utilized that publicity to speak about the violence of lynching. After her son's death she enjoyed a close relationship with many African-American media outlets. Till-Mobley was able to use her role as a mother to relate to other people, and gain support for the cause of racial justice. Memoir Till-Mobley coauthored with Christopher Benson her memoir, Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America, published by Random House in 2003, almost 50 years after the death of her son. She died a few months before the publication of her book. Whoopi Goldberg announced in 2015 plans for a movie called Till, based on Till-Mobley's book and her play, The Face of Emmett Till.


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