Interview with Mamie Till-Mobley

I hope that this interview with Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till will enrich classrooms and other educational opportunities.  

About the video: John Wilson and a group of his students interviewed Mamie Till-Mobley at her home in February of 2001 part of his class entitled, The Chicago Project at the Greene County Career Center, a high school course which examines the causes and solutions to urban poverty. The video was shot by his brother Tom Wilson and his students who teaches video production at Hoover High School in North Canton, Ohio. All rights to the video belong to the two brothers and it is posted with full permission on this site. Permission to link to this site is granted and encouraged.

 

Chapters 1-8

 



Chapter 1:  Mamie describes her childhood growing up in Argo, Illinois.  








Chapter 2: Mamie describes Emmett as a responsible child.  She puts Emmett on a train to Mississippi and he leaves her with haunting words.  “Mama, I won't need this watch where I’m going.”

 







Chapter 3: Emmett enters the store to buy bubble gum, and is accused at wolf whistling at a white woman. “He made the decision to go into the store and…He was not looking back at the lady whatsoever.”  Mamie explains why she thinks Emmett whistled.

 






Chapter  4: Emmett is removed from the house at gunpoint in the middle of the night by Milam and Bryant. “I would guess that that would have been Emmett's first real encounter with racism.”

 






Chapter 5: Mamie demands the Emmett has an open casket viewing until his burial. The severity of his wounds shocks and horrifies the reported 60,000 people who came to view Emmett's casket. 

 







Chapter 6: Mamie describes the insensitivity of the courtroom during the trial of Emmett's murderers. “As I would approach the courtroom every morning…young boys would sit on their father's laps and shoot toy guns at me.”

 





Chapter 7: Carolyn Bryant testifies with great emotion.  Mamie tells about her assurance that the verdict will come back as “not guilty” as was the norm in that day and age for such a crime. 

 







Chapter 8: The years following the trial the Bryant and Milam were outcasts in Mississippi.  "They really bore the mark of Cain." 





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