WH Announces New Civil Rights Monument 

A new national monument honoring Emmett Till will be created after President Joe Biden signed a proclamation on Tuesday establishing it.

The proclamation that establishes the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument was signed on the 82nd anniversary of when the Black Chicago teen was born. 

Emmett Till’s murder was one of the big events that ignited the civil rights movement, and his mother Mamie Till-Mobley was instrumental in that movement.

During the proclamation signing at the White House this week, Biden actually took a shot a Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis when he said:

“At a time when there are those who seek to ban books, bury history, we’re making it clear – crystal, crystal clear: While darkness and denialism can hide much, they erase nothing. Only with truth comes healing, justice, repair and another step forward toward forming a more perfect union.

“We’ve got a hell of a long way to go.”

Tensions over racial issues have escalated over the last few years, including encounters between police and Black people on the streets, as well as what public schools should and shouldn’t teach about Black history and slavery.

Late last week, Vice President Kamala Harris criticized the new standards that the Florida Board of Education adopted around Black history, but DeSantis dismissed those criticisms right away.

Harris signaled out the new Florida standards while appearing at a national convention for the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., mentioning the part of the instructions that said slaves were able to develop skills that “could be applied for their personal benefit.”

In the keynote address she gave, Harris said:

“Just yesterday in the state of Florida, they decided middle school students will be taught that enslaved people benefited from slavery. They insulted us in an attempt to gaslight us, and we will not stand for it.”

At Tuesday’s proclamation signing, Harris doubled down on those statements when she said:

“Today, there are those in our nation who would prefer to erase or even rewrite the ugly parts of our past, those who attempt to teach that enslaved people benefited from slavery. Let us not be seduced into believing that somehow we will be better if we forget.”

Till was only 14 years old when he was accused by a female grocery store clerk who was white of making inappropriate advances toward her and whistling at her. This happened in the Mississippi Delta.

In the wake of those accusations, Till was abducted and then tortured, before his body was eventually dumped into the Tallahatchie River. 

Two white men were tried on charges of murder – Roy Bryant as well as J.W. Milam, his half-brother – though the all-white jury acquitted both of them after deliberating for only an hour.

The men confessed to committing the crime when they were paid to give an interview for Look magazine only a few months after the trial.

Now, the Till monument will honor his legacy. It’ll be the fourth national monument that the Biden administration has designated. This one will be in three different sites in both Mississippi and Illinois, all of which have historical importance in his life and story.