The Leadership Conference Remembers Emmett Till

Contact: Mattie Goldman, [email protected]

As nation marks Emmett Till’s 82nd birthday, civil rights community will never forget his legacy

WASHINGTON — Maya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after President Biden signed a proclamation to establish the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument in Illinois and Mississippi:

“In 1955, Mamie Till-Mobley, at the funeral of her 14-year-old son Emmett Till, bravely demanded that the world look at what brutal, adult murderers had done to her child. It was a cry for justice and a demand that this nation face its demons. Today, while we are in a battle for the freedom to learn and teach this very history, and at a time when Black people remain the highest number of hate crime victims, the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument will represent a strong statement of commitment to remembering the past and a call to reckon with the present.

“It is fitting that this monument calls us to the enduring presence of Emmett Louis Till in our collective memories. It is important that it acknowledges the lifelong fight for justice that Mamie Till-Mobley led — not only for her son, but also for all of us. Mamie Till-Mobley was fighting to shine a light on the dark shadows of violent racism. Today, on what would have been Emmett Till’s 82nd birthday, we are reminded of the ever present threat of violence against Black people and of the devastation and intergenerational trauma it creates.

“We must continue to honor all of the Black lives lost because of racism and hatred and support the families who struggle to keep their legacy alive with action and commitment. As we reflect on this anniversary, we will remind ourselves that we are still climbing to that mountaintop that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed us to — and we cannot stop, will not stop, until we get to that promised land of justice and freedom that is an America as good as its ideals.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 240 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals.