Casket of lynching victim Emmett Till headed to Smithsonian Institution
CHICAGO - The glass-topped casket that displayed lynching victim Emmett Till’s disfigured body to the world and became a rallying point for the civil rights movement is headed to the Smithsonian Institution, his family announced yesterday.
“Hopefully, when this casket, when it’s on display at the Smithsonian, young boys and young girls from all over the world are going to see it and it’s going to inspire them to fight for those who are too weak to fight for themselves,’’ said Simeon Wright, Till’s cousin.
At the South Side church where Mamie Till-Mobley insisted in 1955 on opening the casket that held the remains of her 14-year-old son - and allowed photographs to be taken and published - Wright said her message of what racism looks like still needs to be told.
“Fifty years from now someone will tell the story . . . that they murdered him, threw him in the Tallahatchie River, would they believe it without the casket?’’ asked Wright, who was 12 and was with Till the night the youngster was murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman.