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New traveling Emmett Till exhibit at DC's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See will be on display through March 12.

WASHINGTON — A new traveling exhibit highlighting Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, is now open at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C.

Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See is an exhibit that shares the story of how a mother’s bravery and fight for justice more than six decades ago fueled the civil rights movement in America and provides a framework for people and communities committed to racial healing.

Created by the Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley Institute, the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, the Till family, and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the traveling exhibit visits seven cities. It will be at the library until March 12, 2023. After touring, the exhibit will be a permanent part of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Mississippi.

As part of the exhibit at the library, items from the People's Archive will be featured in two installations:

  • Within the main exhibit, “Local Connections: “The Till Case Reaches DC” shows the role of local Black reporters and the DC NAACP in ensuring that Emmett’s story was told, using newspaper clippings and historical images and quotes from key civil rights activists.

  • A companion exhibit, “Mothers of the Movement” explores the entwined histories of lynching and police brutality in the D.C. region to raise awareness of the ongoing issue of racial violence in our region and to center the perspectives of mothers and families fighting for justice today. The exhibit picks up on the example set by Mamie Till-Mobley highlighting the work of mothers/women in the D.C. Metropolitan area. 

The exhibit presents the topics of racism and hatred — and the resulting social justice actions taken to combat them — in a way that families can talk about. Emmett and Mamie Till-Mobley's stories are told with quotations, first-hand accounts, photos, videos, and activities.  While it includes disturbing graphic images important to the context of the story, visitors will need to voluntarily pull a tab to see those images.

“The Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley Institute is pleased to join with the Children’s Museum’s traveling exhibit that tells the true story of Emmett Till. The goal of our organization is to promote the legacy of Emmett Till and to continue the social activism of Mamie Till-Mobley in her pursuit of social justice and education that provides cultural socialization,” said Dr. Marvel Parker, Executive Director of the Till Institute.

Rev. Wheeler Parker, Emmett Till's cousin and the last living witness to Emmett Till's abduction said it is important for families to understand the story of Emmett Till and learn from it.

“The thing I want families to take away from this is that we can learn from the past on what not to do and we can improve on race relations at this time,” Rev. Parker said.

For more information about the exhibit, click here.

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