Emmett TILL

Family tree of Emmett TILL

Victim

AmericanBorn Emmett Louis TILL

14-year-old African American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store

Born on July 25, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois , United States

Died on August 28, 1955 in Money, Mississippi , United States

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Emmett Till was born in 1941 in Chicago; he was the son of Mamie Carthan (1921–2003) and Louis Till (1922–1945). Emmett's mother Mamie was born in the small Delta town of Webb, Mississippi. The Delta region encompasses the large, multi-county area of northwestern Mississippi in the watershed of the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers. When Carthan was two years old, her family moved to Argo, Illinois, as part of the Great Migration of rural black families out of the South to the North to escape violence, lack of opportunity and unequal treatment under the law. Argo received so many Southern migrants that it was named "Little Mississippi"; Carthan's mother's home was often used by other recent migrants as a way station while they were trying to find jobs and housing.

Mississippi was the poorest state in the U.S. in the 1950s, and the Delta counties were some of the poorest in Mississippi. Mamie Carthan was born in Tallahatchie County, where the average income per white household in 1949 was $690 ($6,960 in 2016 dollars). For black families, the figure was $462 ($4,660 in 2016 dollars). In the rural areas, economic opportunities for blacks were almost nonexistent. They were mostly sharecroppers who lived on land owned by whites. Blacks had essentially been disenfranchised and excluded from voting and the political system since 1890, when the white-dominated legislature passed a new constitution that raised barriers to voter registration. Whites had also passed ordinances establishing racial segregation and Jim Crow laws.

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Geographical origins

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