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The Witness of Emmett Till

Emmett Till. Do you know his name? Do you know this person? Have you seen his face? Perhaps… perhaps not. Until a few short years ago neither had I. But we should. Emmett Till is credited with being the pivotal person in motivating the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

What did Emmett Till do to receive such notice? In 1955 a 14 year old Emmett Till left Chicago for relatives in Mississippi. He took a break, along with several other kids, from picking cotton to have some refreshments and cool off at a grocery store owned and operated by a white couple. The reports from the kids outside were that he whistled at the wife. Several days later Emmett Till was forcibly removed from his family’s home. He was brutally beaten. One of his eyes was gouged out. He was shot through the head. A 70 pound cotton gin fan was tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body, was dumped into the Tallahatchie River…to be hidden away from family and the world as though Emmett Till was never a person and with the intent that he should be forgotten.

But somebody didn’t forget Emmett Till. Three days later Emmett Till’s decomposing body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River. His body was delivered to his mother in Chicago. Mamie Till was a single mother- a widow.

On September 2, 1955, Mamie was photographed collapsing at the train station where she received the partially decomposed and disfigured body of her son. On September 3 Emmett Till’s body was taken to Chicago’s Roberts Temple Church of God for viewing and funeral services. In spite of the horrible condition of Emmett Till’s body, Mamie Till insisted on having an open casket funeral so that everyone can witness the brutality and evil inflicted on her son. This is all that Emmett Till had to do to raise the awareness of a nation: to wake from a false peace the conscience of millions of indifferent people.

At last count the pro-abortion movement has created over 56,000,000 Emmett Tills. Bodies ripped out of their mothers. Brutally punctured and cut into disfiguring pieces. Dumped into garbage bins and incinerators that they may remain nameless and faceless to the world. Non-persons who should be forever forgotten.
There were certainly more Emmett Tills in the world before 1955, so a great deal of evil persisted before the murder of this one person. How many more Emmitt Tills will it take to end abortion? Would more open casket funerals revealing the broken bodies of babies from the womb bring us to that end sooner?

Mark McCurdy