As a class requirement, we were obligated to watch a documentary about Emmett Till. The documentary, titled “The Murder of Emmett Till” was a tell-all about a tragic story of a fourteen-year-old boy from Chicago. Emmett Till was sent to Money, Mississippi to spend the summer with some relatives. In the 1950s, life in Chicago was different than life in Mississippi. Racism was stronger in the south than in the north and Emmett Till was walking into an environment he had never encountered before.
All but the youngest were sentenced to death. After six years of trials during which one of the women ultimately changed her testimony and claimed that no rape had actually occurred, five out of nine men were convicted. The study of Scottsboro trial will help enhance the understanding of readers of To Kill a Mocking bird. Both the fictional and historical trials took place in 1930s, both the accusers were white women and the defendants were African-American men. In both fictional and historical trials, the charge was rape.
Racism was so widely spread it even found its way into professional sports. “Many college student activists sacrificed or postponed their formal education”. (Youth Civil Rights Movement) Samuel Younge Jr., Jackie Robinson, and Ramsey Clark are famous civil rights activists because of their courage and bold actions during the Civil Rights Movement. Samuel Younge Jr. was one of the brave young civil rights activist who gave his life striving toward civil rights. As Samuel was trying to use an all whites bathroom in Macon County, Alabama, on January 3, 1966, Younge was shot to death.
To kill a Mockingbird In the 1900’s one the most common things that people were talking about was racism. Racism was a big part of the society during that time. Many people were killed because racism. These were not the only factors that inspired Harper Lee to write “To Kill a Mockingbird”but she expressed her feelings and thoughts for how cruelly people were treated in the book.. People during that time weren’t scared to insult each other because of their race because racism was everywhere in the country and there was no law to prohibit racism. Jim Crow Laws ,Scottsboro Trial, and African American Church Burning inspired Harper Lee to write her book.
Jim teaches Huck that others will judge solely based on skin color. Twain shows this by saying, "The ni***r run off the very night Huck Finn was killed. So there's a reward out for him - three hundred dollars" (Twain 67). This quotation is showing how the people are quick to assume that just because they both coincidentally went missing around the same time that Jim was the one to "kill" Huck. Throughout the novel, Twain includes the word “ni***r.” This word choice shows how harsh the rest of humanity was towards African Americans.
The mixture of racism and guns is the main reason as to why an innocent child ended up being killed. The novel “The Baddest dog in Harlem” is very likely to have been inspired by the same incident that was the inspiration for the song “American Skin (41 shots)”. On February 4th 1999 Amadou Diallo, a 20 year old black immigrant, was shot dead by four police officers. The policemen suspected him of matching a profile of a man who had committed several rapes in the area. Diallo pulled something out of his pocket, which the policemen thought was a gun, but later on showed to be the his wallet.
To Kill a Mockingbird was published right as the Civil Rights Movement peaked in the 1960s. Lee 's interest in the subject of civil injustices in the south began when she was just five years old. At the time, nine black men were on trial for raping two white women. This was a highly controversial and publicized trial. In the end, the nine men were sentenced to lengthy prison time.
A movement from blacks was rapidly starting from the south and went to north urban industrial areas. This made the whites fear even more for African American’s taking jobs over whites. “Finally, the riots were often fueled by rumors- allegations of police brutality against blacks or allegation of black violence against whites heightened racial tensions,” (Paulson 650). On March 17, 1886, in Carrollton, Mississippi, an event really showed how whites wanted to punish African Americans who dared to stand up for their rights that been recently given to them. Even whites who showed no concern about the new laws were eventually beaten or killed.
Yet, a notable person who overcame these obstacles and made the most out of his experiences was Malcolm X. He made a dramatic change not only in American history but in African American rights. From the beginning of Malcolm X’s life he saw the injustices in the country of America, he was only a kid innocent to the world around him. His father was supposedly killed in a car accident, but Malcolm and his family believe that he was murdered by the Black Legion, which was a group of white racist. Even worse the officials claimed that his father had committed suicide, which prevented his family from inheriting the life insurance money.
His father was also an active member of the local chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and keen supporter of Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey and due to Earl Little’s civil rights activism, the family faced frequent persecution from white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Legion. However, the racism the family encountered in East Lansing after they moved out from Omaha proved even greater. Two years later, in 1931, Earl Little’s dead body was discovered and although he was very likely murdered by white supremacists, the police ruled his death a suicide. Thereby, the large life insurance policy Earl had purchased in order to provide for his family in the event of his death was voided. Malcolm’s mother never recovered from the shock and grief and was committed to a mental institution.