Thursday, August 27, 2009

give me a kiss

Photo: Jet Magazine 23 July 1964
Mamie Till Mobley and her son Emmett

Emmett just barely got on that train to Mississippi. We could hear the whistle blowing. As he was running up the steps, I said, "Bo," -- that's what I called him -- "you didn't kiss me. How do I know I'll ever see you again?" He turned around and said, "Oh, Mama." Gently scolding me.

He ran down those steps and gave me a kiss.

Mamie Till Mobley speaking to Studs Terkel about the last time she saw her son Emmett Till alive, as related in Will the Circle be Unbroken.

That moving account, which includes how she identified his body when he returned to her, brutalized by a racial killing, is excerpted here »

The Chicago History Museum has posted the full audio interview here »

Till's coffin, which was buried with him and then disinterred in 2005 for an investigation into his death (he was reburied in a new coffin) was recently found "rotting in a garbage-strewn shed" -- one of only many gruesome discoveries at the Burr Oak Cemetery South of Chicago.

Photos published by Jet Magazine of what a quarter million people saw through Emmett's glass-lidded coffin are here (warning: disturbing content) »

The New York Times reported today that the coffin has been donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C., which is scheduled to open in 2015.

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