The posthumous recognition comes more than a month after the Justice Department officially closed its investigation into the infamous murder of Till. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division concluded it could not prove that Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman at the center of the case, lied to federal investigators more than 60 years ago.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat, and North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, introduced the bill in September 2020 and reintroduced the law to the 117th Congress last year. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor Congress can give.
“His gruesome murder still serves as a grim reminder of the terror and violence experienced by black Americans throughout our nation’s history,” Booker said in a statement. “The courage and activism displayed by Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, helped demonstrate to the world the brutality endured by her son, who denounced America for its failure to address racism and the horrific injustices it has caused.” Forced to remove. Hate.”
He continued, “More than six decades after his assassination, I am proud to have passed a long-pending legislation by the Senate, honoring both Emmett and Mamie Till-Mobley in recognition of their profound contributions to our nation. will be awarded the gold medal of the
Until a 14-year-old black teen from Chicago visited family in Mississippi—the scene of his fatal encounter with then 20-year-old Donham.
Accounts on that day vary, but witnesses allege that she eloped with her husband until he whistled at Donham. Donham later testified in 1955 that Till held her hand, her waist, and proposed to her, saying that he had been with “white women before”.
The Justice Department reopened the case nearly four years ago “on the discovery of new information,” the department said at the time and failed to elaborate further. But the actions of federal investigators followed a firestorm of calls to reopen the case, inspired by the release of the book “The Blood of Emmett Till,” in which Donham reappears his claims against Till.