JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 is a tragic event in Mississippi and America’s history.
This weekend, the traveling exhibit “Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley: Let the World See” opens at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson.
What separates the exhibit from the museum’s permanent one on Till is that this one is family-oriented and parents are encouraged to bring their children aged ten and up.
Two Mississippi Museums Director Pamela Junior said children need to know their history.
“Talk to them, answer their questions and learn something yourself. This is important. We should never forget any of the events that have happened. It’s a part of history. It’s a part of history that we want to keep alive. It opens April 1st and it goes down May 14th. We are asking, we are pleading for people and especially mothers and fathers, bring your children and be a part of the story,” said Junior.
The murder of 14-year-old African American Emmett Till by two white men for reportedly flirting with a white woman in the Delta town of Money over six decades ago is considered the catalyst that fueled the Civil Rights Movement.
Much of this is because Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, insisted that her son have an open casket at this Chicago funeral.
“This young lady lost her son, and she wanted the world to see. That’s the name of the exhibition. She wanted the world to see what these animals did to her son. She didn’t want this to happen again. She wanted people to rise up. She wanted them to say, ‘There has to be a way for us to stop it,'” said Junior.
That’s exactly what happened.
“This could have been us. They started, they said we are going to fight. There were different children’s campaigns that were going on. Then you had students that were in college to say, ‘We have to do this.’ The Tougaloo Nine. You had the sit-in at the Woolworth store. These folks were saying, ‘No more, we are here,'” said Junior.
Junior knows it’s far from a happy story and difficult to tell, but too important not to.
The Till Institute and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis believe it’s an extraordinary learning experience for both parents and children who are ten and older, as well as the general public.