Emmett Till & His Mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, Honored With Congressional Medal

Jaelani Turner-Williams Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with…
Photo Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images

The House passed a bill Wednesday to posthumously award the Congressional Medal to Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley.

Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley have received a posthumous high honor from the House of Representatives. On Wednesday (December 21), the House unanimously passed a bill to award the late mother and son with the Congressional Gold Medal. The bill, which passed Senate in January, is intended to memorialize Till, a Chicago teen who was lynched by white supremacists in 1955, and Till-Mobley, who insisted on holding open casket funeral for her son demonstrate the gruesome nature of his killing.

The medal will placed in the National Museum of African American History and displayed near the casket Till was buried in. The Senate bill was introduced by Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J. and Richard Burr, R-N.C., while the House version of the legislation is sponsored by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. Rush also sponsored a bill to issue a commemorative stamp in honor of Till-Mobley, who died in 2003.

“The courage and activism demonstrated by Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, in displaying to the world the brutality endured by her son helped awaken the nation’s conscience, forcing America to reckon with its failure to address racism and the glaring injustices that stem from such hatred,” Booker said in a statement after the bill passed the Senate.

Congress has awarded medals since 1776, with recipients including Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson and the Little Rock Nine. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed the anti-lynching legislation, named after Till, into law.

In October, biographical film Till was released, with Danielle Deadwyler portraying Till-Mobley and Jalyn Hall portraying Till. 

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