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Till's body was returned to Chicago where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket."The open-coffin funeral held by Mamie Till Bradley exposed the world to more than her son Emmett Till's bloated, mutilated body.
According to historians, events surrounding Emmett Till's life and death continue to resonate.Although initially local newspapers and law enforcement officials decried the violence against Till and called for justice, they responded to national criticism by defending Mississippians, temporarily giving support to the killers.In September 1955, Bryant and Milam were acquitted by an all-white jury of Till's kidnapping and murder.Till posthumously became an icon of the Civil Rights Movement.Till was born and raised in Chicago and in August 1955, was visiting relatives near Money, in the Mississippi Delta region.In the rural areas, economic opportunities for blacks were almost nonexistent.
They were mostly sharecroppers who lived on land owned by whites.He spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the white married proprietor of a small grocery store there.Although what happened at the store is a matter of dispute, Till was accused of flirting with or whistling at Bryant.Till's original casket was then donated to the Smithsonian Institution and it is displayed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.After Milam and Bryant were acquitted, they initially remained in Mississippi, but were boycotted, threatened, attacked and humiliated by local residents.Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was a 14-year-old African-American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after a white woman said she was offended by him in her family's grocery store.