New movie reveals the true story of Emmett Till


Pride Haggerty, Staff Writer

The new movie in theaters Till, released this October, is one I will never forget. Till is both a heartfelt and touching film. The movie is a two-hour film about the story of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American kid who was killed by two white men for allegedly flirting with a white woman. 

It was extremely sad to see how African Americans were treated during the time period of the 1950s in the south, and it’s even harder to believe that our country would stoop to that level of discrimination.

 After doing one small thing to a white woman, he was killed. The saddest part was that he was so young and didn’t know better. During the trial, the woman proceeded to lie about the incident and make Till seem like he was a villain. 

But in reality, all he did was whistle at her and said she looked like a movie actress. Which by many would be seen as a compliment, but because he was African American, she had him killed. 

The murder of Till was extremely gory, and the scene when the body was found after being thrown into the river made my stomach drop. It was eye-opening to see that Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, decided to have an open-casket funeral to exhibit the horror of the incident and to show prejudice against African Americans. 

The only thing I had to say about the trial was that it was a farce. Going into it, everyone in the court knew how it would end, and Mamie even left early. The jury was filled with all white men, and even the judge was biased against Till’s case.

After the court had decided that the two men who killed Till were not guilty, she was so enraged about all that had happened. She was persistent when it came to seeking justice. Mamie wanted to speak out about the cause, influencing her to join the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). 

One thing that stood out about the movie to me was the difference between discrimination in the south vs. the east. Till was an innocent kid who grew up in Chicago, so he did not experience discrimination to the extent of African Americans living in the south. He didn’t realize the harsh reactions he would get from the white people in the south. 

One thing I would say is the mournful parts of the movie could have been condensed a little more so that more of the activism was brought out a little. The movie was over two hours long, so I think by taking a few minutes out, the movie could be elevated and leave watchers feeling satisfied. 

Although the majority of the film was sorrowful, there is also a sense of strength among the African American people. Their community and family values stayed true throughout the movie. The actress playing Mamie was phenomenal and evoked a great deal of empathy from watchers. 

After all this time, the Emmett Till anti-lynching act was just recently passed in March of 2022. 

The bill “imposes criminal penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to 30 years, or both—on an individual who conspires to commit a hate crime offense that results in death or serious bodily injury or that includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.” 

What I mainly got out of the movie was the harsh death of Emmett Till and the desire to seek justice on Mamie’s behalf. This story really helped bring awareness to the prejudice toward African Americans’.