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The Living Truth: The Emmett Till Story

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The death of 14-year-old Emmett Till on Aug. 28, 1955, shook the entire world with the sobering reality of discrimination and helped to ignite the civil rights movement. 

Nearly 70 years later, social justice is still top-of-mind. The truth surrounding Emmett’s death is highly relevant. 

Emmett’s legacy has spoken from the grave for more than a half-century, even in the heart of Indiana.

News 8 tracked down firsthand Indiana connections to Emmett’s legacy that are impacting the lives of Hoosiers today. 

News 8 anchor Alexis Rogers traveled to bring you the eyewitness accounts she grew up hearing from those who witnessed what happened.

Rogers takes an in-depth look at Emmett’s story, from what happened in the general store to his abduction and brutal death to the graphic photo that changed the world and the trial that followed, and examines his current legacy, including a national effort that started in Indianapolis.

Emmett’s legacy made headlines in 2022, from the antilynching bill to the U.S. House unanimously passing a bill to posthumously award Emmett and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, with the highest civilian honor that Congress awards: The Congressional Gold Medal. The medal will be given to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and displayed near the casket in which Emmett was once buried.

Talking to those who witnessed and were a part of history is invaluable. Their words leave us with a weight of responsibility to be a ripple for justice and change.

There is truth living all around us, we just have to listen.  

To learn more, check out Alexis Rogers’ five-part series discussing Emmett’s murder and his lasting impact on American history.