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PHOTO ESSAY

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s

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Mamie Till Bradley, 1955

Photo by William Lanier. Visual Materials from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records, Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-118182.

In 1955, fourteen-year-old Emmett Till traveled from Chicago to Mississippi to visit relatives. While there he was abducted, tortured, and murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman. At his funeral, his mother Mamie Bradley insisted that his coffin remain open so that all could see the violence done to her child. Jet Magazine published pictures of Till's mutilated corpse, and Bradley traveled the country speaking about what had been done to her son. Outrage over the event was an enormous impetus for the modern Civil Rights Movement. In this photo, Mamie Bradley collapses as Till's casket arrives in Chicago

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