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Where was Emmett Till buried? New ABC show revisits dawn of civil rights

Yasmine Leung January 7, 2022
Emmett Till

ABC’s new series Woman Of The Movement explores the murder of Emmett Till and its effect on the civil rights movement. Find out where he was buried and how his funeral touched thousands of lives.

Woman Of The Movement premiered on ABC on Thursday, 6 January 2022, chronicling the brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955.

In August 1955, African-American Till was lynched and mutilated in Mississippi by two Caucasian men after he was accused of whistling at a white woman (Carolyn Bryant).

His body was found in the Tallahatchie River, near Money, Mississippi, on 31 August. Till was so badly beaten his uncle could only identify him by the ring he wore.

The six-episode historical drama focuses on Mamie Till-Mobley, portrayed by Adrienne Warren, who devoted her life to seeking justice for her son. Cedric Joe stars as Emmett Till and Tony Pinkins portrays his grandmother, Alma Carthan.

Two episodes will be released every Thursday on ABC from 6 January to 20 January.

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Women of the Movement | Trailer

Women of the Movement | Trailer

Where was Emmett Till buried?

Till’s body was transported back to Chicago, as per his mother’s request.

Shocked at the condition of her son’s body, she demanded an open-casket funeral and denied a mortician’s offer to cover up the injuries. Till-Mobley wanted the world to “see what they did to my boy”, as reported by the Chicago Sun Times.

A glass-topped casket was chosen and tens of thousands of people came to pay their respects, rallying support for the family from all communities. The murder is widely viewed as a catalyst for the civil rights movement and Till remains an icon in black history.

His funeral took place at Roberts Temple Church Of God In Christ and he was buried in Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois, on 6 September 1955.

Emmett Till’s original glass-topped coffin has been on display at Smithsonian‘s National Museum of African American History And Culture since November 2009 after Till’s body was reburied in a new casket.

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What happened to Emmett Till’s murderers?

Roy Bryant, Carolyn Bryant’s husband, and his half-brother, JW Milam, were charged with the murder in September 1955. Three days later, the Daily News informed readers a grand jury had indicted the two men for Till’s murder.

The pair claimed they only kidnapped Till and were acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury, as reported by The Washington Post.

Milam died on 31 December 1980, while Bryant passed away on 1 September 1994. The cause of death in both cases was reported as cancer.

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.