thumbnail of American Experience; The Murder of Emmett Till; Interview with Mamie Till Mobley, mother of Emmett Till
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do you hear it it is this is this is that would be a long answer questionnaires and build up ahead of this developmental delays but goldenberg says will understand so so yeah i mean it's totally what did you tell him that when i found out that inmate could memorize something and give it back to me perfectly i turned to him one day and that's about when you start the tour's founder doesn't just whistle and go ahead and say that you're going to say and that seemingly worked like a charm on the proposal the eu but i guess he would be gained his composure and he can go ahead and say what
he wanted to say at the top for what if you could hoof and mrs mobley when we use it was so your whistle and then he would do ok so i do who's the i told him when you find yourself getting hung up on a bird says fussell and go ahead and say that you want to say and not really can't he tried to do it and it really worked like a charm and you you know after emma woods went down south he really he wrote you back then you got letters and know that that was a kind of tally haven't been there he wrote he was having on all he was so enjoying himself and he was so a concerned
about everyone back home tell them that he was having a good time until tell them held for a home and i thought he had asked me to send him and by nineteen eighty seven second son smoother because the game it's easier to say no i got letters from an hour continues to let us all that we have an idea of how you knew this ball rolling rock n roll they saw and in my pauses for third directly but i'm sure other again before ones who are so you find that havel was doing now how visited bhutan them don't sell well when the he was calling me this whenever he felt like that he would pick up the phone and i just heard that because that is the long distance call
and i reminded him that he could write and how he was at how a moses house he wrote me two letters and out in these letters he would tell me what a wonderful time he was having end of the things that they had done and the things that are looking forward to doing and it seems like he really wanted these letters on a friday and saturday he was supposed to be going to the uncle across the cells and i'll somehow that got switched over to send me they were going to leave sunday at a church in santa and of course of the four day sunday morning that's when the invasion took place but have big on saturday as they had hurt us into a look at one of them is able to avoid this confrontation i also saw a letter that they're that they check that from our awkwardness to write memos is right he wrote a letter
to the race saying what a great boy in is i think that was endlessly that was actually think about that letter ok let's go for a search for that one of all of it is a really a month see ok i'm a day before he left for mississippi i gave him his fathers reign and go to and he really expressed a lot of excitement over getting worse as rain and out people are known as finger and it did and that was kind of a stocky but they were that it was a little bit loose on this figure but not enough to her i know he was that you know you would see a never saw them looking down his hand i know
when he got ready to leave when he did it for me at the police stations at the r train station he said he was going to keep the rain and assurances friends this has been it's been in korea i suppose oh ok
now is that the evelyn and holding a letter from that endlessly of these dated august twenty nineteen fifty five from greenwood mississippi it says here i was glad that you are led by well come he is so he is certainly a nice kid he is just as obedient as you would want to see them coming we think well i know that he was helping her he was not only working in the field but he saw the loan that match it was carrying and he did what he could to lift that load for her friend says he would not go to the field in the morning with the rest of the boys and papa miles he wants state and get the breakfast dishes livestock go with her to the garden
in the afternoon the large meal and come back to the house and helped her get angry at him and the boys came in for lunch he would go back when they were in the afternoon because they would always rest a little bit back to vacate and that's going to have a chance to help her get the dishes washed up in awe whenever that was left from the afternoon meal they added to that for the evening meal world we're few octaves that starting a monolith it should ride to say that the land judo don't mention the other little because i may not have you read both one who admits it isn't our right this is the last letter that i received a whole set we're going to move up an analysis that elena y chat will
start with the letter and then basically i think we're going with that this is the last letter that i received from an anti said dear mom how is everybody i hope you ain't seen are fine i have oh i hope you all have a nice fat imo having a real and i'm having oh dear god and hallelujah he speaks this is the last letter that i received from an anything dear mom how are you how is everybody i hope you ain't seen a fine
i hope you know i hope you are having a nice chair i'm having a it's been i'm having a great time will be home next week please have my motorbike fix for me and this was all of the letter that i received from him and i had had to ask him please start writing me to stop calling me because when he called human cargo that then he didn't hear how long he talked so well oh this was one of two letters and i receive from him while he was visiting the air on the cement and papa most is a little bit of the opening august twenty fifth and so it gives it give the symbol for its own before it was a listener
ok great that this is the last letter that i received from canada it's dated august twenty fifth nineteen fifty five dear mama how is everybody i hope you ain't seen a fine i hope you had a nice ship i don't have a defined task our will the home of next week please have my motorbike fix for me love this is one of two letters that i received from an oh he was we never last communication because he was calling and i had to discourage the calling because he was calling collect there are he didn't have any limits on the time he was using so i
reminded him that and this is the second letter receive from him which was probably a saturday morning and he was taken out of the house before a date sunday morning and go oh i didn't hear about it until nine gary said you are ok so for sixty minutes or one of the things i think that's important is that his effort was at as we go you know most i felt about things fell from orbit know how different here that it was innocent i received a telephone call and nine thirty sunday morning it was from moses writes oldest daughter willie mae jones the lead of previous jobs and evidently
she had received a call from her years of telling her what had happened she called me but she was so hysterical until i couldn't understand what she was saying and i told you that i can live close by and asks her to go over and see what the world was wrong with willie mae and my mother called me back to let me know they both had been kidnapped group hedge a few oh my goodness i don't really know how i felt i wasn't really frightened but i was very apprehensive i can't i thought these men whoever they were would take yemen argument a real liking and bring him back to pop up
miles and it never occurred to me that they would i'm helium but i jumped out a band and i may not know they have then i can see it lived about eight blocks away and i think seeing i went to detainees among themselves and all he had to do even at public transportation or walk from where he lived where i lived and it seems that he got to me so quickly i'll but by the time he got they are i had notified of blue that ad that magnolia downstairs i called the news media all every newspaper ad that they've done and though i didn't call it a tv stations but they picked up the story all i needed to do was call that newspapers and the
daily news wanted to talk to me at length and i told him to meet me at my mother's house which was on the west side given the address one scene that i was ready to go she was stopping at every stop sign in stopping in every red light and i don't have time for that willow oh jeanne did what i asked him to do it and i took the wheel and he said oh you're going to get it if the police are going to stop you know i saw hope they do that and they can cut the siren on to get me to my muscles faster all because of that there was no stopping and get to know and when i got there surely enough to defend the old chicago daily news was they are they were waiting on the steps for me to ride and things that and
how hard it was for you to get information adam mississippi top of it it has great color they're comparing it to the iron curtain are you know how hard it was for you find out you knew it was hard for the information and i didn't find out any information any every every place that column of the block they had they didn't know anything oh there are people that we knew personally i'll they weren't they had to go to church they couldn't help us with this situation i know and i mean everybody was pre occupied i couldn't get the governor right away i finally got him but i couldn't get his share of it was almost mission impossible it was as if oh mississippi had been sealed off and then i entered and no information coming out
of their months away do you think that the people knew the black people that we're scared they already think that they just want to have our art where they just were preempted because i didn't even call the black people for how i was calling on white people that we knew and out mr not fall he was quite at oh he was a rebound in the neighborhood and most of that fall told me he said i'm sorry i don't have time to look at the vietnam on their way to church and so he i guess he won't go to church and everybody we call had something they had to do they say their clients have to do first here i found from them
united press the other way when a one of them is a risk yes oh one of them is agencies call and they wanted to speak to somebody in the house except me and i knew immediately what they had to be a business as if i had something telling me about what's going to happen next and i told him i said sir there's no one in this house who couldn't talk to accept me and i want you to just give me that news slowly so i can write it down i don't want to make any mistakes while he would not talk to the associated press of food was bad though he wanted to know that many friends and i gave him the name of my friend and i both ali williams and he called her and gave her the story she
enters call me back well i was the one that was made and we'll see what he does and i said it the message you have you cannot give to moment you've got to give it to me as a mom i can't take it can't tell us so think about one details and nobody is going to take the details as i will either she finally was persuaded to give me the message it she described how his body had been found humbles is right have identified hear about the raid on his finger and though she told me about the engine failure that was around his net wired with barbed wire around his neck in the internet usage and then and he was thrown
into the tallahassee rapper but by some excellent he had in the cupboard tangled with them underground and thereby he couldn't continue to float down the river and the flip just let up one of his he went up above the surface of the water and there was a young white man jon hodges who was fishing with libya and he spotted that and the toll on his daddy that there's somebody in the river while the search for emmett till it becomes very intense oh when this era came down he immediately said from moses' right at moses right cain and he said that he couldn't tell the rainbow by looking in him but when he saw the rain it is they say yes that's you know that's history and that is the way he
identified that way your family it was only when the family told do it for you oh my god those words for light arrows sticky are all over my body and go i have had this visitation numbers so i dove who had told me i will lead to i will guide to take care of you all you have to do is to obey and as i was talking to me i was trying to write and i would stop her every so often because my eyes were thoughtfully tears until i can see and i needed two of clear my vision and then i would go back to write and she was so reluctant to give me that
information she won it to talk to my mother because my mother was the cause she was still the forest in the family but i haven't looked at my mother and i realized that my mother i was going to this is one thing i was going to have to do nothing could not do this and for me and when i began to make the announcement oh that ma had been found and how he has found the whole house began to scream and to cry my mother they'll press redundant for the people that were able to they were around her and they had just sealed her again and i stood up and went towards her and as i approached her on the floor i felt a surge of something like the electricity coming from her to me a last step
back because it seems that if i think there i went without all the life out of her body so i'm going back and i began to tell the people give her a year from around her that hurricane up i was telling them how did take him and that's when i realized this was meant to carry and he held hearings about this place right so i'm going to pass away and they tried to very inviting in mississippi yes from the sheriff
outside moses right side and the outcome of the identified beau biden ring on his finger oh sheriff strider again about it to a toll most is right to take the money and it had to be buried before the sun went down that night and our most is right was very obedient he took the body to the church some military they had dug a grave and they were preparing to put him out in the grain when curtis spoke up and said granddaddy you got a variable about talking mainly that's not nice cease operations and he said i need to call may well his grandfather told him he couldn't get a cart to go in color
and they waited to see what would kill pod curtis would be able to do but he went to home after home at home mostly white homes in the area and no one would allow him to use the telephone although in the meantime when we got the word and i was able to get a house quieted down i told him it's something we have to do it i don't know what it is that you're going to have to help me think and out i was telling them how futile it was to be crying i think we don't have a lot of tears to cry for emmett till the world will cry for emmett till i know my aunt spoke up and she said how the undertaker called a gay writer lolita in that ad reiner is the one that reached the o people on the right people in mississippi then laid
claim to the body but he was very skeptical he told me come back in he wants you know he said he's going to cut thirty three hundred dollars to get the body out of mississippi and he wanted to know could weep and go i tell him mr rainer regard as so the cost i want them back and so finally about pay you if i don't live somebody else will pay you you will get a buy low we i was able to live up to that promise i'll be buried la and not many in compton my hands that i was able to pay him and for that i had about two hundred fifty dollars left in a savings account and many years ago that a lot of people are
just kind of finish the story as it has also in their end in this city so that violet's body william woodward buried in mississippi now we're trying to believe it was us so they wanted to get in the ground as quickly as possible they don't want like fall to get sad about a very an all so so so really it was chosen someone forgot to ad oh yeah there was moses' writes grants and khrushchev the one who said bubbles said bye baby which is we have found out that wasn't true why did you want to get the body so that's obvious their weight their body had been mutilated they don't want anybody
to see what those double incident though that was something to be hidden it was not to be advertised it was not to be photographed and whatnot to be even heard anymore just bury this body and let's get on with our lives oh great so do you think that they were going to actually i just really don't know i have no answers for that at all but i do know that they wanted their body in the ground as quickly as possible they didn't want any fanfare about it at all and they had no intention of letting the valley and the city we
are not shipping that by teachers chicago bob was not something they intended to do and it took the intervention of all why undertaker that they came ready or communicated with and he in turn went to the bar undertaker who is a subsidiary of his so they have a white owned by wreckage and it was soon though it owner that we got the body under trained i was told that the train wouldn't take the body because i'm older and oh i was still alive and impossible things but i didn't waver the body i want to buy it but he arrived at la street station i went down to receive the body and to my surprise there were hundreds of people there and the minute i looked up this saw this huge
box in it was almost as the bard is crushed me to the ground on one of the things that was for most of all my mind i wanted to see a i had to see what was there in the box and it was banned then i was told about the art sign the mississippi see you all that was on the big box the box inside that would've been the third box set how's that can fit all of these head seals and padlocks on them and i am allowed to be open and out mr rainer tried to explain to me that he would be in trouble and the mississippi authorities at open about and i didn't hear anything about the mississippi authorities i wanted to get in
and when he just told me he couldn't do it i reflected a moment not ask <unk> rain or do you have a hammer and that kind of startled him oh and he wanted to know what you're going to do with a hammer us that i haven't signed anything that i haven't made any promises and if you can't open build back that box i can probably expect in one box with a casket in sight but there was a box within the big box and then another box was inside the second box and then the casket was inside the box and oh oh oh but when we went in disarray there agreed to go into the box sets and we found all of these underpants wants far and lots of all and everyone
went to mississippi seal on eight remember the year the casket arrived arriving with you know with all these seals and yes we went to the train station of the total street station in central and know we were waiting for the box for though for the body to be brought into the area where we were and all of a sudden i looked up and there was this huge box it looked almost a lot of it looked almost as if it were the size of the freight cars a really big box of some big and i wonder why such a huge box
and out i later found out that it was one of three boxes because there was a box inside the huge box iron about the huge one had a seal and a padlock on it now back since i didn't have a seal and a padlock the third box had a seal and a padlock and inside that their box with a casket with the ceo mr ed la and i was told that the only way the body was released to come to chicago was that david swears signed and promise of wooly worm at that the box would not be open ironed out of course are victims of that immediately i mean oh when i went up oh when i saw
the casket it seems as the girl during that time between then and the time i actually looked over in the casket to see where the ball looked like i have the sensation that every boat had turned to steal and i looked i mean you know sensation was so intense until i looked at myself to see could i see the political changes that are taking place mr abadi you know my guy's eu either side of me to hold me up and i told them turn you lose a certain amount of faith not gonna job to do i'm going to try to figure out what this is and go they had when i looked inside the casket ansari was a huge something
about the bag of a lot of white pellets all over the ideology in the way and that i told mr ryan has said i can't see what's in the box all of coming here and that was true also i couldn't see well they were very patient with me baby so the body to the back of the casket of the funeral parlor where they dress the bodies for the present them to get them ready for a present age they took him out of the day they want us to know and they called me back and let me look at him via and when i glance at his face i had to turn away and just couldn't look him in the face and i remember i started at his feet i set of sentient place the wake up until i got to is there
one thing i've certainly was that he had not been castrated he was out of beer but that rumor has persisted it was chemistry that it has such an intimate hard stuff is mouthful that was not true oh i'm not that was that shit i think roberts lets you can you know share with for quite so so you see this is still the train station asked a spot on that story in a new rule on the other the transition you see these huge you know out box office saying there is there's a lot of pictures of you in using be breaking down how you feel i felt that that boxes on tackling the crushing need to the ground i felt the weight of an ox
and r i just i was not prepared to see anything so huge and i had no idea how i would feel when i of absurd but he was returned to me in i just didn't i was totally unprepared for that and then we went to the funeral home i went to the funeral home with a box and they open the box and didn't really tell you not say that as you know the look they didn't want me to love but i had to learn because i had to be sure that i was going to bury him i mean even all it all in thirty three hundred dollars stereo me in the things i didn't want to bury nothing or somebody else someone to make sure that was buried an ad that was the
all the whole idea behind see what was in the box because i realize they couldn't fill him with bricks they could have lead in it could have been somebody else's body i had to know for sure so tell me the story in a funeral home with so what what reagan as a radio signal please don't know the size of the un will be asking apple yes so i was you know my father did not below nobody wanted me to look at them but i had to look at them and i mean how he looked was that that issue i had to make sure i have been that was the only way i can be sure the square today on the us more than we give you that they know what are all the same so if you know
you're at the moment and they they asking apple no witnesses the looking oh describe what a sewing open new gifts for two songs you know as i said i started at his feet and there are little things that i could identify a commonly up his hero of because they're drawn i've been bathing him for a long time i had to stop and each friday when it began after each fight so when i paused in his vip section on i got a little jaunt because i knew he would not want me looking at him at the eye so you know that i knew he was in town and that there were very few blemishes on his body until you got to his neck and all of the scoring all of the beating was about is he an ad though
i saw his tone was jumped out add it was leaked on the lowest she and i was such a key to human beings have time philby and as i came up i noticed that there wasn't the right eye was lying on midway his sheikh and i notice that has no less i had been broken like somebody to go meet chopper and chopped his nose and several places i looked for this i n it was gone and this isn't somebody had figured out with paper and i went back to examine his ears because his ears were not attached to his face and that in the big curled up a little bit and no
i can find it here i only found a portion of an ear and i wanted to go free is that as i kept looking i saw a hole which i presume with the bullet hole and i could look through their home and seen daylight of the site and i wondered what is it necessary to shoot the aisle it's a might not have the final insult theo shot through the air but i also notice that though for part of his face and the back of his head where a separate that they had come down over his head oh thanks that's willie reed i think molly reid said that and of those from the face of the back of the head were in separate pieces and mystery are all
asked me he said do you want me to touch the idea i say no that the people see what i see i said america needs to know what is going on in the south and out i turned sixteen i say gene hunt your thoughts he's so that's all right he said i'll never forget his aide and he said and i gave him that here jean was his barber so not only did i have my verification i had teams as well we're going to say you're right is the awesome gray yes a homeless romney so i want you to just say just go back a little bit and i know one when we talked before you talk a little bit more about about how you kind of look from his opponent from his feet
in those isn't easy mac kind of up and to get to two to up to his neck a little bit more on that where does not the second one and so when you looked it uses the looking they did you start your face we just are i started in its feet i had glances face and i had to turn away all that turned away i decided i would start at his feet and i would love to examine him are all the way up until i got to the face and one thing i noticed his ankles are he had adele is because for a very very sharp and our i'd notice that shot is of those anglo cisco
west arrives home so and again did did they start to face now when i glance and the space i had to turn away i cannot go focus on his face and i decided then the love of stand at his feet and work my wake up now you may be gathering strength as i when i when i got to his ankles and it was so those shot bows in his ankle ok that was in his ankle and i came up his leg and so i get to his knee and his knees were like my knees he didn't have not be nice lot of people have not believe that he had let me at all i said those are his knees and i came up to admit section at i just pause long enough to know that he was still intact nobody had own
castrated or anything like that as the rumors have had at all i can't tell i got to share and then i had i was forced to deal with his face and that's when i notice his tongue hanging below his chin and our i notice that the sides of the tongue it was unbelievable it was bigger than the towns and mama used to cook the beach towns that my mother used to cut up and i was amazed that human beings tongue would be so big but i don't know what that was due to what it was she hadn't until i got i saw that i had that was lying are dangling from the eye socket about halfway the right she and i looked on the other side in that i was
completely out of that hadn't been picked out i noticed the region as bells which had been there and looked as if it had bench chopped idea from day i went to look at his ear the right here because i was on the right side and i notice that the power of the year that i was looking for was missing and i wondered for instance a year and i couldn't go oh identified the ear because it was nonexistent but i saw this bullet hole around the temple area and i could see daylight in the bullet hole and i wondered why does it really necessary to shoot him because by the end he's sure of that by humans to eat wouldn't be able to take all of their punishment and yet be a lie
and i also noticed that romney's faith and the back and see it had been shot when something like go ahead and of the face and the back of a hit were separated now there's a picture that was taken by jet magazine on the left side you can see all the debris and they used to sell back then they had faced back together to make a minute and i'll mr rainer asked me he said oh do you want me to touch somebody and i said no mystery how that people see what i'd say oh i was just willing to bare it all i think everybody needed to know what had happened in detail i know but when i came back that evening i was the man
American Experience
The Murder of Emmett Till
Raw Footage
Interview with Mamie Till Mobley, mother of Emmett Till
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Mamie Till Mobley Interview about her son Emmett Till, an African-American teenager who was lynched in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman.
Race and Ethnicity
Law Enforcement and Crime
American history, African Americans, civil rights, racism, lynching, Mississippi
(c) 2003-2017 WGBH Educational Foundation
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Identifier: barcode291073_TillMobley_02_SALES_ASP_h264 Amex.mp4 (unknown)
Duration: 0:49:49
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Chicago: “American Experience; The Murder of Emmett Till; Interview with Mamie Till Mobley, mother of Emmett Till,” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 21, 2021,
MLA: “American Experience; The Murder of Emmett Till; Interview with Mamie Till Mobley, mother of Emmett Till.” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 21, 2021. <>.
APA: American Experience; The Murder of Emmett Till; Interview with Mamie Till Mobley, mother of Emmett Till. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from