President Obama Signs ‘Emmett Till Bill’ To Reopen Civil Rights Cold Cases

Emmett Till

Source: Kieth Beauchamp / Till the Movie

In 1955, the death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American teenager who was lynched after allegedly flirting with a White woman in rural Mississippi, sparked controversy across America.

The two White men responsible for brutally murdering Till were let off by an all-White jury. The case brought attention to how racism is intertwined with America’s justice system. Sixty-one years after his death, Till’s horrific experience may carve a path for others hoping to find justice. According to PBS, President Obama recently signed a bill that would give the FBI the chance to reopen more cold cases from the Civil Rights Era.

The legislation, titled the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes bill, was initially introduced by activist Alvin Sykes in 2005. He named the proposed bill after Till because he vowed to his mother, Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, he would fight to reopen the case. The Department of Justice did reopen the case in 2004; it was closed three years later after a jury decided not to indict Carolyn Bryant, the woman who accused Till of whistling at her. Two years after the case was reopened, the FBI started to look into over 100 civil rights cases. In 2008, the bill was placed into law.

The upgraded legislation, which President Obama signed on December 16, will now get rid of the limitations on cases that occurred prior to 1970 and will allow ongoing investigations conducted by the FBI surrounding civil rights cases. This will create an avenue for cases that occurred during the height of the Jim Crow Era to be reopened. Under the revised bill, dubbed Till Bill 2, groups including Emory University’s Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project and the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University would receive funding to help solve civil rights cases.

Many politicians believe the updated law will allow more cases to be opened and solved. Senators Claire McCaskill and Richard Burr backed the bill at the Senate level. In the House, it was reviewed by Rep. John Conyers, Rep. John Lewis, and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

“As we work to address current questions about racial violence and civil rights, we should be mindful of our history and why so many in the African-American community raise the issue of whether black lives matter,” Rep. John Conyers Jr. told USA Today. “Passage of the original Emmett Till Act represented a commitment to resolving the unanswered questions from one of the darkest periods in modern American history.”

Over the past 27 years, the reopening of civil rights cold cases has resulted in 24 convictions. The first person to be convicted was Byron De La Beckwith, who was responsible for killing civil rights activist Medgar Evers in 1963.



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Jay Z Inks Major New TV & Film Deal

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Jay Z is taking his talents to television.

The music mogul has signed a first-look deal with the Weinstein Company, which will give them the first rights to produce any of Jay’s television and film projects. According to reports, there are currently projects in development that fall under the new two-year deal.

Hov released a statement: “I’m excited to tell stories from real-life prophets, whom through their struggles have changed the world for the better, and others whose stories are filled with fantasy and delight. Harvey and David are visionaries both of whom have done this time and time again. I’m already passionate about what we currently have in the pipeline and I’m looking forward to discovering others.”

Jay already has his hands in upcoming television endeavors. Earlier this week, it was reported that he and Will Smith would be co-producing a forthcoming HBO miniseries about Emmett Till.

SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty 

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Activists Memorialize Emmett Till’s Death 60 Years Later & More News You Need To Know

Activists Commemorate Emmett Till’s Life 60 Years After His Brutal Murder

Even decades later, Emmett Till’s brutal death at the hands of racists in Mississippi is as relevant as ever in today’s Black Lives Matter movement. The mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, and the father of Michael Brown, Michael Brown, Sr., will be attending a memorial dinner today for Till in Chicago. There will also be gatherings today at the church where Till’s funeral service was held and the cemetery where Till and his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, are buried. Finally, there will be various other memorial events and movie screenings to commemorate Till’s life through Sunday. Organizers say the events are especially important in serving as opportunities to educate local teens on the history of racism and violence projected at America’s Black youth. Read more at the NY Times.

Up Next: Europe Scrambles To Find Solutions To Its Immigration Problems As Migrants Die En Route To Freedom 

Jay Z & Will Smith To Produce HBO Miniseries On Emmett Till

Jay Z

Source: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty

Jay Z and Will Smith are teaming up to produce a yet-untitled mini series for HBO about Emmett Till, the black Chicago teenager whose death in 1955 kick-started the American Civil Rights Movement.

2015 marks 60 years since Emmett Till’s death, which came at the expense of flirting with a white woman in Money, Miss.

Although little details are known about the project thus far, Entertainment Weekly reports that Roc Nation, Overbrook, and Kapital Entertainment are the production companies currently tied to the project. At present, no writers are attached to the miniseries.

This isn’t the first on-screen project based on Emmett Till’s life to be announced this year. During the 2015 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, Chaz Ebert, the former wife of late Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, revealed that—alongside Shatterglass Films—she was set to adapt the award-winning book Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America into the feature length film based on Till’s life.


What’s Next For Ferguson And The Nation After Michael Brown Is Laid To Rest? [VIDEO]

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Pastor Jamal Bryant, Dr. Chris MetzlerMichelle Hudgens and Malik Husser joined Roland Martin Monday on “NewsOne Now” to discuss what is next for Ferguson and America now that Michael Brown has been laid to rest. During their conversation, Pastor Bryant explained that Brown is the Emmett Till for the Hip Hop generation. Other panelist expressed the need for the African American community to demand justice and significant changes to community policing.

Be sure to listen to “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 7 a.m. EST and watch at 9 a.m. EST on TV One. 


Hey America, Why Does The Value Of My Life Mean So Little To You? [Opinion]

(The photos in this article are of a few young black men that are associated with my life through friends and family. Do you value their lives as much as you do the children in your life?)

black-man-in-america(Meet Naseer. Do you value this young man’s life? – pictured above)

In August of 1955 a 14-year-old Chicago boy named Emmett Till went to visit his relatives in Money, Mississippi. While on his visit, he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the white married proprietor of a small grocery store in Mississippi. A few nights later Emmett Till was kidnapped and transported to a barn, where he was beat unconsciously and had his eyes gouged out of their sockets, all before shooting him through the head. His body then disposed of in the Tallahatchie River with a 70-pound cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. The two white men charged in Till’s death were acquitted of his kidnapping and murder, but later confessed in a magazine interview, protected by the law double jeopardy.

Emmett Till was a boy, a baby with hope that this world wasn’t as cruel as it seemed to be for African American boys in the 50’s and 60’s. Reality took it’s toll on Emmett and his family, but reality seems to take it’s toll on American black men and their families on a daily basis. What is that reality you ask?

“A black man is eighteen times more likely to be murdered than a white woman. The murder rate for black men is double that of American soldiers in World War I, and for black men between the ages of fifteen and thirty, violence is the single leading cause of death.” – “The Culture Of Fear” by: Barry Glassner

So how come you don’t care when we are killed? How come the deaths in our communities don’t touch your soul like the kidnapping and murder of Natalee Holloway, or Jon Benét Ramsey? How come when children in our communities are shot and killed they have no face, they are just another statistic to you? How come the laws become so technical when a young black boy gets shot and murdered? Court rooms get flooded with law definitions and reasonable doubt arguments, turning open and shut cases into acquittals and mistrials. Young black men still have little value in American culture and society. Even though the landscape of our culture is changing and becoming more acceptable to minorities and certain social groups, the idea of a black boy being equal to everyone else just isn’t there.

black-man-in-america(Meet Teagan Shell and his father. Do you value this young man’s life? – pictured above)

In the novel “The Culture Of Fear,” author Barry Glassner attributes fear as one of the main causes to the devaluing of black life.

“Consider Americans’ fear of black men. These are perpetuated by the excessive attention paid to the dangers that a small relative percentage of African-American men create for other people, and by a relative lack of attention to dangers that a majority of black men face themselves.” “The Culture Of Fear” by: Barry Glassner


Lil Wayne Dropped By Mountain Dew


Mountain Dew’s parent company PepsiCo has dropped him

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In a statement, PepsiCo Inc., stated that Wayne’s

“offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.”


Lil’ Wayne Regrets Emmett Till Lyric | Read His Statement


After month’s of controversy and personal protests from the family of Emmett Till over an offensive lyric, Lil’ Wayne finally explains himself and makes the family a new promise…

It started when the family of Emmett Till asked Lil Wayne for an apology for using Emmett Till’s name to describe an aggressive sex act on a remix of Future’s Karate Chop.

The lyric was pulled by Epic Records and the label issued an apology but Lil Wayne remained did not address the issue.

Well, after the family of Emmett Till threatened to target his sponsors, Lil Wayne issued this statement:

Dear Till Family:

As a recording artist, I have always been interested in word play. My lyrics often reference people, places and events in my music, as well as the music that I create for or alongside other artists.

It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist’s song has deeply offended your family. As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys.

Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner. I fully support Epic Record’s decision to take down the unauthorized version of the song and to not include the reference in the version that went to retail. I will not be performing the lyrics that contain that reference live and have removed them from my catalogue.

I have tremendous respect for those who paved the way for the liberty and opportunities that African-Americans currently enjoy. As a business owner who employs several African-American employees and gives philanthropically to organizations that help youth to pursue their dreams my ultimate intention is to uplift rather than degrade our community.


Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne To Lose Mountain Dew Sponsor?


Lil Wayne might be the latest rapper to lose sponsorship from a major advertiser

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Lil Wayne had a verse on Future’sKarate Chop” that said “beat the p—- up like Emmett Till” Emmett Till’s family wanted an apology-they never received one. Epic Records, Future’s label, took the verse off. Well now the family is pursuing Mountain Dew-Lil Wayne’s sponsor. They intend to pursue Mountain Dew much like the organzation UltraViolet pursued Reebok against Rick Ross. Here is the Mountain Dew commercial below


Emmett Till’s Family Outraged Over Lil Wayne Verse on “Karate Chop” Remix

Lil Wayne NY Getty thumb


The family of slain civil rights icon Emmett Till is furious at Lil Wayne over a verse on Future’sremix to “Karate Chop.”

In the song, Weezy raps, “I pop a lot of pain pills / beat that p*ssy up like Emmett Till.”

Till was a 14-year-old African-American from Chicago who was tortured and murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly flirting with a white woman. Till’s death galvanized the Civil Rights Movement after Till’s mother decided to showcase Till’s horrifying fatal wounds by holding an open casket funeral so the world could see the reality of racism and the brutality of her son’s murder.








Melissa Harris-Perry: JET Magazine’s Jordan Davis Cover Is A Call To Action

jordan davis jetJet Magazine, recognized and respected for its long history of bringing Civil Rights issues to the forefront, has again proven its allegiance to the advocacy and advancement of the African-American community by making the bold decision to place Jordan Davis on their first magazine cover of 2013.

Jordan Davis, 17, was gunned down by accused shooter Michael Dunn, 45, at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida on November 23rd. As previously reported by NewsOne, Dunn claims that he felt threatened by the teen — who was sitting inside of an SUV with friends — and loud music coming from the vehicle, so he shot inside of it 8 or 9 times before driving away leaving Davis to die in a friend’s arms.

None of the teens had weapons.

Melissa Harris-Perry discusses the importance of JET’s decision, a magazine that shocked and awakened the nation into awareness and action by including images of the mangled body of 14-year-old Emmett Till, in their September 15, 1955 issue.

See MHP clip below:

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