“Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See” is a touring exhibition that shares the story of how a mother’s bravery and fight for justice more than six decades ago fueled the civil rights movement in America and provides a framework for people and communities committed to racial healing.
Emmett Till was just a child when he was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by white supremacists in the Jim Crow South in 1955. When the perpetrators tried to cover it up, Emmett’s mother, Mamie, insisted the world know what they did to her son. She bravely shared her 14-year-old son’s story with all who would listen — and fueled a movement that changed the nation. Much progress has been made since 1955; however, Mamie Till-Mobley’s work is far from over.
Created in collaboration with the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley Institute, the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, the Till family, and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, “Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let The World See” tells the story of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, challenging visitors to make a ripple for justice in their own communities.
The exhibit tells five key stories:
- Emmett’s personal story
- How the brave actions of Emmett’s mom, Mamie Till-Mobley, fueled the Civil Rights Movement
- How a community and family have worked to keep Emmett’s memory alive
- How the vandalized historical marker connects to us today
- How we can commit to social justice in our own communities
The exhibit will be on display from Thursday, January 26, to Sunday, March 12, in the Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. It is recommended for visitors ages 10 and older.
Each location on the exhibit tour has also been invited to contribute local content in response to the prompt, “What are the difficult truths in your community’s history? And how can you help your community remember it and strive for social change?” Within “Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let The World See,” you will find a case titled “Local Connections,” which honors the role local Black reporters played in ensuring Emmett’s story reached a wide audience.
In addition, the DC Public Library has developed a companion exhibit, “Mothers of the Movement,” using material from the People’s Archive, in collaboration with local advisers. The exhibit uplifts the role Black women activists in the region have had, standing at the front lines to combat police lynching and police brutality for more than a century. It seeks to raise awareness of the ongoing issue of racial violence in the region and to center the perspectives of mothers and families fighting for justice today.