Emmett Till and Song of Solomon

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Emmett Till was only fourteen in the 1950s when he was brutally murdered in a Mississippi town. Two men were accused of the murder. Many of the racial issues that went on in the Till murder and the court case also were portrayed in Toni Morrison's novel, Song of Solomon. Emmett Till's life was somewhat the same as a typical African American with all the prejudice he had to face. At the time newspapers, both black and white owned, had different ways of looking at the murder, and such differences in views form a structure for Morrison to use Till's life to portray Macon Dead's life in a racist society. Emmett Till was a young boy who lived in Chicago and was not used to all the racial issues in the South because he did not have to face them until he went to a small town in Mississippi to visit his uncle. He soon realized just how different the South really was. Emmett and a few friends went to a white-owned store, and on the way out he was dared by his friends to whistle at the white lady running the store. Later that day, Sunday, August 28, 1955, he was taken from his uncle's home by the lady's husband and was shot, beaten, and with a 270 pound weight tied to his neck, thrown in the Tallahatchie River. A few days later Till was found in the river by a boy fishing from the shore. The woman's husband J.W. Bryant and his brother-in-law Roy Milam were charged with kidnapping and murder. The trial was held in a segregated court house on September 23, 1955. The all-white jury found Bryant and Milam not guilty. Emmett Till lost his life for something that he did not think was wrong; he was a good ... ... middle of paper ... ...ormer friend, a sad reminder of how whites killing blacks has evolved today into blacks killing blacks. Emmett Till was a young boy who was murdered for whistling at a white woman. The blacks' newspapers had his story on all the front pages, and it was very important to them, whereas the whites' newspapers only had a little column in the back pages, as if it were no big deal. The repercussions of the racial issues of the Emmett Till story can also be read in Song of Solomon nearly fifty years later and on the front pages of today's newspapers. Works Cited Wexler, Sanford. The Civil Rights Movement: An Eyewitness History. N.Y.: Facts on File, 1993.

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