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Exhibition Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words

Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till Bradley, ca. 1950. Photograph. NAACP Records, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (024.00.00)

Emmett Till with His Mother

Emmett Till, age fourteen, was brutally murdered on August 28, 1955, for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Money, Mississippi. An all-white jury acquitted his killers in September. The verdict aroused international protest. On November 27, 1955, Rosa Parks attended a rally at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church to hear Mississippi activist Dr. T. R. M. Howard speak about Till. Years later, Jesse Jackson asked her why she refused to move to the back of bus. She replied, “I thought of Emmett Till and I couldn’t go back.”