Today in class we watched a film called Eyes on the Prize. Black people in the south during the 1950s and 1960s were willing to be beaten and killed to end segregation so they could have equal opportunities. They were very brave for enduring such a strong amount of violence just to be equal. Our Pledge of Allegiance even says “with liberty and justice for all.” Did it really mean “for all, except for African Americans”? In the days of the Civil Rights Movement, that’s how it seemed.
The harm done to black people wasn’t just physical abuse and violence. Black people felt inferior to white people. Segregation was such a regular part of life in the south, that it wasn’t even questioned. The Ku Klux Klan members are shown holding American flags, even though America stands for freedom, not oppression. I can’t get over how the Army was segregated during World War II. The Army was segregated, but they were fighting for the same cause. We’re all American, regardless of the color of our skin. We all bleed red.
I know that in almost all of my blog posts related to the Civil Rights movement, I’ve gone on and on about how brave the black citizens were. But I’m going to praise Uncle Mose. Mose Wright was very brave. He testified against Roy and J.W., two white men, in the murder trial. He risked his life to make sure Emmett got justice. Mamie insisted on an open casket funeral for her son, so that the world could see the great injustice done to him. She was very brave as well. Emmett died a hero, and I hope that his mother knew that before she died. Mamie was a stronger woman than I am. If I had a child, I don’t know that I could calmly talk about his murder and look his murders in the face. Mose and Mamie are both very brave people.
It took the jury an hour to find Roy and J.W. not guilty. One of the jury members said that it wouldn’t have taken that long, but they “took a break to drink pop.” They were even found not guilty for kidnapping, even though they admitted to taking him from Mose’s home in front of the jury. Roy and J.W. gave an interview for 4 thousand dollars and admitted to the crime. I can’t believe that some people were so evil.
Emmett Till didn’t know that he was going to be killed. In Chicago, racism wasn’t as stark. He didn’t know that he would be a hero or that he had an impact in a movement that would change the United States. If I could tell him one thing, it would be that I’m proud of him, and I’m sorry that he was treated the way he was, but it was a job well done because justice was finally served.