Press Release Aug 28, 2023

Biden Administration Joins Advocates at Graball Landing for Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument Dedication

Emmett Till's murder started a chain reaction, driving everyday Americans across the country to stand and be counted as part of the Civil Rights Movement.

GLENDORA, Miss. – Today, the Department of the Interior dedicated Graball Landing as a part of the newly announced Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument, which includes three sites pivotal to the lynching of the 14-year-old boy and his mother.

Today marks the 68th anniversary of the kidnapping of Emmett Till from his great-uncle’s home. Graball Landing, where Emmett Till’s brutalized body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River, has been repeatedly vandalized over the years. Historic markers have been stolen, thrown in the river, and riddled with bullets. On Monday, an armed guard, White House officials, and federal, state and local leaders attended the commemoration event.

“Graball Landing is part of a new national monument that shines a light on Emmett’s story, and the countless other “Emmetts” we have lost and continue to lose to anti-Black violence,” said Patrick Weems, the Executive Director of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center. “We are committed to the complex and complete telling of the history, and to ensuring that our community, state and nation understand the racism and anti-Black violence that caused Till’s death still exists today. Today is cause for reflection on the work before us – the continued need to preserve and reckon with this history.”

Emmett’s short time in Mississippi ​​galvanized the nascent civil rights movement and reshaped America. On July 25, 2023, President Biden designated the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument, which protects three historic sites in Illinois and Mississippi that will help tell a more complete story of our country’s history.

This national monument, established on what would have been Emmett Till’s 82nd birthday, is the country’s 425th site managed by the National Park Service and reflects the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to advancing civil rights and racial justice.

“Nearly 70 years ago today, Emmett Till was abducted and murdered in what would become known as one of America’s most infamous hate crimes. His mother Mamie Till-Mobley’s work to publicize his murder would start a chain reaction, driving everyday Americans across the country to stand and be counted as part of the Civil Rights Movement. Teachers, students, clergy, and families answered the call for justice, joining marches, protests, and sit-ins.“ said Eboni Preston Goddard, Southeast Associate Director for the National Parks Conservation Association.

“Now, thanks to the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument, they can.” Preston Goddard continued. “These new interpretive signs are the first step towards that new reality. With this new national monument, the National Park Service can honor Emmett and Mamie’s memory and tell their story to generations of visitors from around the world. This designation cannot heal the wounds of the past, but it can help us build a better future together, in Emmett and Mamie’s names.”

For Emmett Till Interpretive Center media inquiries, please contact Courtney Farrell, cfarrell@rabengroup.com

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About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.

About The Emmett Till Interpretive Center: The Emmett Till Interpretive Center was formed to confront the brutal truth of the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in the Mississippi Delta and to seek justice for the Till family and Delta community. The Center aims to tell the story of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, as an act of restorative justice to create the conditions necessary to begin the process of racial healing in Mississippi and across the nation. For more information about the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, visit https://www.emmett-till.org or follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/tillcenter), twitter @emmetillcenter, or Instagram @tillnationalpark.

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