The unanimous vote awarded Till and his mother, both civil rights icons, the Congressional Gold Medal.
US House of Representatives unanimously passed bill posthumously awarding Congressional Gold Medal to Chicago teenager Emmett Till murdered in a racially motivated attack in the 1950s, and his mother was Mamie Till-Mobley.
The bill, passed by the Senate in January, honors Till and his mother – who insisted on having a funeral in a coffin to demonstrate the brutality of her son’s murder – with the title highest civilian award awarded by the National Assembly.
The medal will be given to the National Museum of African American History, where it will be displayed near Till’s coffin is buried.
Until he was kidnapped, tortured and killed in 1955 after witnesses said he whistling with a white woman at a grocery store in rural Mississippi, violating the racist social norms of the South at the time.
Four days later, he was awakened from his bed at his great-uncle’s house at dawn and kidnapped. His killing sparked a civil rights movement in the United States after Till’s mother insisted that the coffin be opened and Jet magazine published pictures of his brutalized body.
The Senate bill was introduced by Cory Booker of the Democratic Party and Richard Burr of the Republican Party. The House version of the act was sponsored by Democratic Representative Bobby Rush, who also introduced a bill to issue commemorative postage stamps in honor of Mamie Till-Mobley. She passed away in 2003.
“The courage and activism that Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, displayed in showing the world the atrocities her son endured helped awaken the conscience of the nation, forcing America to acknowledges its failure to address racism and the obvious injustices that stem from such behaviour. hatred,” Booker said in a statement after the bill passed the Senate.
Congress has awarded the medal since 1776, with previous recipients including civil rights icons such as Rosa Parks, Little Rock Nine, and Jackie Robinson. The appointment comes months after President Joe Biden signed the first anti-loose lawnamed after Till, into law.
Until March of this year, Congress had failed to pass such legislation nearly 200 times, beginning with the bill introduced in 1900 by North Carolina Representative George Henry White, the only Black member of Congress at the time. that point.