Bob Dylan – The Death of Emmett Till

“Twas down in Mississippi not so long ago,
When a young boy from Chicago town stepped through a
Southern door.
This boy’s dreadful tragedy I can still remember well,
The color of his skin was black and his name was Emmett Till.

Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up.
They said they had a reason, but I disremember what.
They tortured him and did some evil things too evil to
There was screaming sounds inside the barn, there was
laughing sounds out on the street.

Then they rolled his body down a gulf amidst a blood-red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his
screaming pain.
The reason that they killed him there, and I’m sure it
ain’t no lie,
He was a black-skinned boy, so
he was born to die.

And then to stop the United States of yelling for a trial,
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor
Emmett Till.
But on the jury there were men who helped the brothers
commit this awful crime,
And so this trial was a mockery, but nobody seemed to mind.

I saw the morning papers but I could not bear to see
The smiling brothers walkin’ down the courthouse stairs.
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free,
While Emmett’s body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.

If you can’t speak out against this kind of thing, a crime
that’s so unjust,
Your eyes are filled with dead men’s dirt, your mind is
filled with dust.
Your arms and legs they must be in shackles and chains, and
your blood it must refuse to flow,
For you let this human race fall down so God-awful low!

This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow man
That this kind of thing still lives today in that
ghost-robed Ku Klux Klan.
But if all us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we
could give,
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.”

It is very sad but I have never heard of the Emmett Till story until the class last week. I searched a little bit more about his story and found that song by Bob Dylan quoted above telling what happened with Emmett during his short  and tragic death. This story shocked me because I have never though how easy people can kill someone for not really serious reasons like whistling on w white women by black young kid. The Emmett Till was an American-African boy who was murdered in Mississippi while he was only 14 years old. Emmett Till story happened not even 60 years ago while our grandparents lived and our parents were almost born so it’s not that far away! As I was watching this movie I thought that his story could not have happened but it really did. Racism is a very important subject and we should never avoid it just because happened in the past. In my opinion this movie should be shown to every high school student and deeply discussed about consequences of that kind of behavior.

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One Response to Bob Dylan – The Death of Emmett Till

  1. toaquhay says:

    The scary part about the Emmett Till story is that it is tame compared to what some blacks went through in the development of this country. As I am working on my group project I am learning just how deep the racism and prejudice runs in this country. Sadly, this country was built on stories like Emmett Till. This class has really opened my eyes to just how prevalent inequalities are in reality; in addition, the roots of prejudice run deep into the hearts of man and society. Be thankful that we have developed enough that stories like Emmett Till are far, far less common.

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