Church that hosted Emmett Till’s funeral could become historical site

Church that hosted Emmett Till’s funeral could become historical site
FILE - In this Sept. 3, 1955, file photo, mourners pass Emmett Till's casket in Chicago. Till was a 14-year-old African American boy who was kidnapped, tortured and lynched for whistling at a white woman in Mississippi by a white mob. (AP Photo/File) (Source: AP)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Chicago’s Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, the church which hosted the funeral of Emmett Till in the year 1955, could soon become an historical landmark.

Senators Roger Wicker (R, Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R, Miss.) have joined Senator Tammy Duckworth (D, Ill.) to introduce legislation that would establish the church as a national historic site.

“Emmett Till’s murder and the courage of Mamie Till-Mobley roused people of goodwill to action, leading to one of the most significant movements in American history,” Wicker said. “This commemoration would help preserve the Till family’s legacy for future generations.”

“This designation will help build on work to ensure the atrocities done to Emmitt Till, his family’s heartbreaking story, and their importance to the Civil Rights Movement is not ever forgotten,” Hyde-Smith added.

At 14 years old, Till, a Chicago native, was murdered in the Mississippi Delta after allegedly flirting with a white woman.

Days after the alleged incident, two white men abducted the boy. Till’s body was discovered days later in the Tallahatchie River.

A bulletproof historical marker has been placed at the site of where the boy’s body was pulled from the river.

His mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, would insist on a public funeral with a glass-topped open casket so that her son’s body could be seen. Thousands attended the service, becoming a turning point for the civil rights movement.

Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley, and Roberts Temple National Historic Site Act (S.795) would establish the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ as a historic site managed by the U.S. National Park Service.

The bill also includes provisions to stabilize and restore the building which was included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2020 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

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