Friday night in Chicago, a special gathering was held in remembrance of Emmett Till. It was also the launch of a new movement against social injustice.
The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation kicked off the Never Again Campaign Friday night. It's a national effort that stands against injustice.
"Standing up against injustice, racism, crime against youth and also hatred, it's something they can participate in," said Deborah Watts, Emmitt Till Legacy Foundation.
There will be several events this weekend remembering Emmitt Till and his mother Mamie Till Mobley.
Saturday night, the show opens. ABC7 found the cast of Mamies Angels rehearsing at Rainbow PUSH the day before. The play honoring the life of Mamie Till Mobley will premiere Saturday on the 55th anniversary of her son Emmitt Till's death. In the audience for the rehearsal were two of Till's cousins who were with him before he was murdered.
"Those kind of things we need to remember, and if you don't remember history you're subject to repeat it and sometimes it seems we want to repeat it," said Wheeler Parker, Till's cousin. "They had these Southern mores. That's why they didn't want him to go. What did happen they were afraid could happen."
The play recounts Mobley's troupe of young men and women that performed civil rights speeches. But, to talk about Mobley's life, the play also addresses her son's death.
"It doesn't focus on Emmitt Till, it focuses on what she did to move forward after losing her only child," said Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Till-Mobley's niece.
In 1955, Emmitt Till went with a cousin wheeler parker to Money, Mississippi, to visit relatives. He would return to Chicago only to be buried.
The boy had been beaten and shot for whistling at a white woman. Till's second cousin was in the bedroom when the men took Till at gunpoint.
"My thoughts go back to my bedroom the night he was kidnapped. It's a night I can never forget," said Parker.
The death of Emmitt Till motivated a generation of civil rights activists.
Now the family hopes the play will introduce the story of Emmitt Till to a new generation.
It's something to remind our young people to stay in school, become good lawyers, good writers, good judges, police men. Whatever you're going to be, be the best you can be, do all you can to help the little guy, because there are more Emmitt Tills out there," said Simeon Wright, Till's cousin.
Emmitt Till's casket was donated to the Smithsonian museum. It had been in Burr Oak Cemetery. The family says the Smithsonian is restoring the casket, in which millions viewed Till's disfigured remains.
The casket is expected to be part of a new wing of the Smithsonian that opens in 2015.
In 1973, Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of slain Civil Rights martyr Emmett Till, was asked by her principal to create a Black History Month school assembly for her students at Carter Elementary. This simple request would be the catalyst for 'Mother Mobley's' inspired creation of what would become "The Emmett Till Players"; an indefatigable touring troupe of young students who for the next twenty years would travel across the country and used the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. to deliver stirring speeches of hope, unity, and determination to thousands.
Now, for the first time on stage, the story of Mamie Till-Mobley's personal journey ---in her own words-- from triumph to tragedy--can finally be told. You must see...
Mark Your Calendars!!!! Saturday--August 28th, 2010--At 7 pm!
Please join us at Chicago's own, world renown --Rainbow P.U.S.H.--930 East 50th Street, in Chicago Illinois 60615--for the world premiere of a new play about the mother of Emmett Till.
"Mamie's Angels" chronicles the touching story of how the legendary Mamie Till-Mobley assembled this determined group of children to spread a message of peace and forgiveness; this despite the fact that her own life had spiraled into the most tragic circumstance a mother could ever endure.
"Mamie's Angels" incorporates music as well as exclusive, never heard before interviews from Mamie Till-Mobley herself as well as recollections from various members of The Mamie Till-Mobley Memorial Foundation and who were members of the original Emmett Till Players. This new work for the stage also includes excerpts from the award-winning stage play "The Face Of Emmett Till" (Written By Mamie Till-Mobley and David Barr III) and the award winning novel "Death Of Innocence" (Written By Mamie Till-Mobley and Christopher Benson)
Please Note: This WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTION of "Mamie's Angels" will make its long-awaited debut on August 28th 2010--commemorating the 55th anniversary of the murder of Emmett Till. This truly unique production is more of a celebration of the life and incredible contributions made by this phenomenal yet largely unsung heroine of the Civil Rights Movement.
Mother Mobley and Rainbow P.U.S.H. Coalition Founder Reverend Jesse Jackson were extremely close confidantes for several decades. They were comrades in peace, joined together in Christ, and united in their shared vision for non-violent world change. Reverend Jackson delivered Mother Mobley's eulogy in January 2003. It is right and profound that "Mamie's Angels" have its world premiere in this indefatigable sanctuary for righteousness that Mother Mobley frequented so very often during her tireless fight for social justice. Ask Reverend Jackson so eloquently described her...
"Mamie turned a crucifixion into a resurrection. Well done, Mamie, well done. You turned death into living. Well done. You awakened the world. Well done. You gave your son so a nation might be saved. Well done. A magnificent woman."
Don't You Dare Miss...
MARK THOSE CALENDARS--SATURDAY, AUGUST 28TH, 7:00 PM –The World Premiere of "Mamie's Angels" at the world famous Rainbow P.U.S.H. ...1105 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
For information about "Mamie's Angels" please contact Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Director of The Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation ... at (708) 334-8192 or via email Airickca@live.com
BLACK HISTORY MOMENT WEEKEND!(PRESS RELEASE)
"Hands Across Emmett Till Road"
55th anniversary of Emmett Till case that sparked the civil rights movement Poems, Songs, Art and Collective Action!! On this day, the following Black History Moments Occurred!!
- Jean Pointe DuSable, Founder of Chicago passes (FY 1818)
- Emmett Till - Kidnap/Torture/Murdered (FY 1955)
- Dr. King Jr.-A. Phillip Randolph - March on Washington (FY 1963)
- Hurricane Katrina hits Southern States (FY 2005)
- President Barack Obama - Democratic Nomination (FY 2008)
Also, Emmett Till Legacy Foundation Reception and Fundraiser - the evening of August 27th - Special Program Launch of the National "Never Again" Campaign. BRING YOUR GROUP BANNER/FLAG AND WEAR YOUR GROUP TEE-SHIRT.
Through Collective Reflection and Action; Peace and Justice Is Obtainable! For more information, contact Alicia Spears @ BERA (773) 783-2636 or by email John Paul Jones, Emmett Till Commemoration Initiatives @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Graveside Wreath Laying Ceremony
Sunday, August 29 at 2:30 p.m. at Burr Oak Cemetery