‘Reclaimed’ details civil rights icon Mamie Till-Mobley’s activism after her son was murdered in 1955

History June 19, 2022
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In 1955, Mamie Till-Mobley’s 14-year-old son, Emmett, was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in Mississippi. While visiting relatives, Emmett went to a store and got accused of offending a white woman and wolf whistling. Then, Emmett was attacked by a group of men and brutally killed.

At Emmett’s open-casket funeral, Mamie photographed her son’s disfigured body and shared images with the world to bring awareness to race-motivated crimes and what was happening across America. Jet magazine published Mamie’s photos, and she took a stand against violence and injustices in the Jim Crow South.

Emmett’s story was at the frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement and kickstarted Mamie’s activism. When Mamie testified on the stand, she captured the whole country’s attention, spoke her truth, and rallied for justice.

This 3-part podcast is the companion listen to ABC News’ documentary series “Let the World See,” hosted by historian and ABC News contributor Leah Wright-Rigueur. Start “Reclaimed” from the beginning to learn about Mamie’s background, her family, and more prior to the March on Washington and before Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat on the bus.

On “Reclaimed,” Mamie shares her story along with first-person narratives with some of her family members. In this season, listeners will hear about Mamie’s life before her son’s death, becoming a teacher, and the significant path her life took after losing her son, grieving, and becoming a civil rights icon.

Episode 1 chronicled Mamie’s childhood outside Chicago. Her early years were shaped by a solid education, her family, and faith. Later in the series, hear Michelle Obama discuss Chicago’s politics in the 1950s.

Season 1 was titled “Tulsa’s Buried Truth,” covering one of America’s most brutal massacres in 3 episodes and a bonus discussion about the survivors.

Tune into “Reclaimed” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Listen to ‘Reclaimed’
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