Happy 79th Birthday Emmett Till (Seen here with his mother, Mamie Bradley, ca. 1950)
"Emmett Till, a young Black boy in Mississippi, turned 14 on July 25, 1955. Almost exactly one month later, he was brutally murdered after being accused of sexually harassing Carolyn Bryant, a white woman, in a grocery store.
Till would have turned 79 today had he not been killed. The two white men accused of his murder were later found 'not guilty' by an all-white, all-male jury.
Four months after the trial, which took place in a segregated courtroom, the two men admitted to kidnapping and murdering Till in an interview with Look magazine.
Because they had already been acquitted, they could not be tried again. Neither ever served time for Till's death."
Till's murder helped to light a fire under the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century. I have spent most of my life being told that there was no more need to remember this kind of injustice.
That the horrors we associate with things like chattel slavery and the Jim Crow South are ancient history, best left forgotten.
The fight for racial justice is at a fever pitch, and being fought on many fronts. The quoted text above came from an email I received from the Innocence Project, a nonprofit that works to exonerate innocent people through DNA testing. They also work tirelessly to reform the system to prevent further injustice.
Black and brown men in America have continued to be perceived as dangerous, violent, and hypersexual. These racist stereotypes that see Black men as predators and don't give us the presumption of innocence have often led to over-policing of communities of color, disproportionately high rates of incarceration, and wrongful convictions.
Each month I donate 10% of the money I make from sales of my products and services to support the important work of overturning wrongful convictions.
I know what I give makes a difference. For those who buy stuff from me: Thanks for your business, and for helping me do my part!
Well, I gotta get back to work fam, but thanks again for reading!