CultureHISTORY: Emmitt Till- (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955)
Today would have marked Till’s 73rd birthday. Sadly his fate was resigned to history when he was brutally murdered at the age of 14 while down in Mississippi visiting relatives in August 1955. The horrendous hate crime became national news and one of the major catalysts for the Civil Rights movement. It’s been reported that Rosa Parks admitted that this boy’s death was on her mind when she refused to give up her seat four months later in December of the same year.
For those who don’t know this vital story in Black (and American) history, Till was brutally slaughtered and thrown in a shallow river by two white men who thought he had disrespected a white woman by merely speaking to her. When his body was returned to his mother in Chicago, she was so distraught and angry that she requested an open casket for his funeral. The pictures were awful but they helped to galvanize the greatest civil rights movement of the 20th century.
“…And I said the way you have the woman written right now is kind of this voice of reason, and I’m not interested in that because I can kind of see the potential of what it could be. And he said, ‘We don’t really know how to write for women, because we just kind of write for ourselves.’ And I said, ‘Well don’t write for a woman, just write another funny character and I’ll make it a woman.”
The Guelaguetza is an annual celebration of Oaxaca’s Indigenous communities held during the last two weeks of July.
‘Guelaguetza’ is a Zapoteco word meaning system of collaboration and exchange. Scholars say it has been practiced since the days before pre-European contact and was preserved as a means of surviving the trauma of colonization.
Although commercialized, La Guelaguetza gives Oaxaca’s Native Peoples an opportunity to showcase their culture and traditions.
Members or a teachers’ union and a student group attempted to block the entrance to La Guelaguetza on the celebration’s last day over a dispute with the government on Monday.