emmett till 082820CHICAGO — State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is joining advocate groups and Alderman Jeanette Taylor in calls to make the childhood home of Emmett Till a landmark on the 65th anniversary of his death. 

“Emmett’s unjust death parallels many today – George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others to count,” Hunter said. “Emmett received no justice for being murdered senselessly, just as others we’ve seen this year that are still waiting for justice. This is why we proclaim, ‘Black Lives Matter’ – because the justice system hasn’t shown us that they do.”

Till was a 14-year-old boy from Chicago, visiting family in Mississippi when he was brutally beaten and killed for allegedly flirting with a white woman on Aug. 28, 1955.

When his body was found days later, it was so disfigured he could only be identified by an initialed ring. His mother’s decision to hold an open casket funeral changed the pace of the Civil Rights Movement, exposing the country to the horrors of racism.

Still, no justice was served for Till. The all-white jury debated for less than an hour before deciding Till’s killers were not guilty. Years later, it was revealed that the woman lied about Till coming on to her.

“We are tired, and we have been for generations. When will it end?” Hunter asked. “The first step to eradicating racism is to be educated about it. If we make Emmett Till’s home a landmark, and share this grave history, we can raise awareness in the hopes that the generation to come will have no more Emmett Tills.”

Last year, the Woodlawn residence where Till grew up was bought by BMW properties, which buys distressed property and sells them as turn-key investments to investors seeking passive rental income. If the home was made an official landmark of the city, it would be prevented from possible demolition or renovation that would dampen its architectural history.