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Rush to Speak at Emmett Till Gravesite at Burr Oak Cemetery in Commemoration of Emmett Till's 80th Birthday

July 23, 2021

Rush introduced Emmett Till Antilynching Act to make lynching a federal hate crime, also introduced legislation to honor Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley with the Congressional Gold Medal

CHICAGO — On Saturday, July 24th at 11:30 AM CT, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D‑Ill.) will speak at Emmett Till's gravesite at Burr Oak Cemetery as part of a weekend-long commemoration of what would have been Emmett Till's 80th birthday on Sunday, July 24.

"When the photo from Emmett Till's funeral ran in Jet, I will never forget how my mother gathered us around the coffee table and told us ‘That's why I brought my boys out of the South.' Our nation was forever changed by Emmett Till's horrific lynching and by Mamie Till-Mobley's courageous decision to hold an open-casket funeral for her son and show the nation the brutal truth and terror of racism. It was a catalytic event that lit the spark for the civil rights movement and put us on the path to becoming a more equal nation," said Rep. Rush.

"As we commemorate what would have been Emmett Till's 80th birthday, we reflect on how much more excellent our nation would have been had he lived, what magnificent contributions he and so many others — Dr. King, Medgar Evers, Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, George Floyd, to name a few — would have made to the world had they lived, had they not been strangled by the metaphorical lynching rope that extends throughout the history of Black people in America and has strangled our very nation."

On the first day of the 117th Congress, Rep. Rush reintroduced his Emmett Till Antilynching Act (H.R. 55), which would finally make lynching a Federal hate crime in the United States, after nearly 200 attempts since 1900. This legislation passed the House of Representatives last Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support, and H.R. 55 currently has 173 House cosponsors.

In March, Rep. Rush introduced bipartisan legislation to award a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal to Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley; companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.). This week, Rep. Rush introduced legislation to honor Mamie Till-Mobley with a commemorative postage stamp.

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Issues:Civil Rights