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Emmett Till, national monuments, and teaching Black history

US President Joe Biden hands a pen to Till family member Dr. Marvel Parker, Executive Director of the Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley Institute, after signing a proclamation establishing the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument in Illinois and Mississippi.
US President Joe Biden hands a pen to Till family member Dr. Marvel Parker, Executive Director of the Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley Institute, after signing a proclamation establishing the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument in Illinois and Mississippi.

Last week, President Joe Biden announced plans for new monuments to honor Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie. They will be erected in Mississippi where Till was murdered and at the church in Chicago where Till was laid to rest.    

The designations come as states across the country are restricting how Black history can be taught in schools. At least 44 states have introduced legislation thatwould restrict how teachers discuss racism and racial issues in the classroom.

We assemble a panel of guests to discuss how the murder of Emmett Till catalyzed the civil rights movement, what significance these new national monuments hold, and why the teaching of Till’s story could be under threat.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

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Chris Remington