The Murder of Emmett Till | Teen Ink

The Murder of Emmett Till

August 25, 2008
By Becca Porter SILVER, Medford, New Jersey
Becca Porter SILVER, Medford, New Jersey
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I had warned him that things were different down there,
Be careful where you walk and whatever you do, do not stare.
A train had come taken him away,
To Mississippi where blacks had prices to pay.
Emmett had whistled at a girl in a store,
Two days later death was knocking at his door.
In the moments in the shed was where this beating took place,
This set off the civil right movements, this was its base.
When we had heard the news, cries had filled the house,
A couple days later I picked out my best black blouse.
The ring on his finger told me he was it,
Later I had found that his shoes had been lit.
When the reporters questions filled the air,
I had to answer with care.
“All I know is that he is my son”
And in the back of my mind was saying, “His life was done.”
The courtroom was so hot,
The lies were impossible how could they be bought?
The all white jury had looked over at me,
I know because of my skin what I said didn’t matter only what they could see.
He had not looked like the son I knew,
African Americans barely spoken, if few.
The trial was unfair to say the least,
The people who had beaten him were beast.
He had been put in a truck,
And to his destiny he soon would lose all his luck.
Soon a gun shot from a pistol was fired,
And soon after his neck was wired.
I did not wait to hear the verdict come out,
They were innocent there was no doubt.
They had said he was not my own son,
That is how the case was won.
No one ever did any time,
For this awful crime.
The truth finally seeped through their lies,
To many disgusted people, the ones still living today, live in disguise.
Gun shots were celebrated like it was the Fourth of July,
When in fact my 14 year old boy had just died

The author's comments:
I had to put a lot of thought into writing something like this, not only because it is a sensitive subject but because it was a graded assignment during one of my classes this year. This piece reflects on America long ago when people were not accepted for who they are. Issues like this are still being pressed on today but not as harshly.

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This article has 7 comments.

on Dec. 5 2014 at 12:32 pm
nice work keep it up

Butterfly said...
on Sep. 12 2008 at 11:37 pm
Keep up the great writing!!! I agree with the other postings. This is very deep writing for someone so young and what potential you have.

DanielleC314 said...
on Sep. 12 2008 at 1:59 am
Nice Job Becca!!! Very mature writing on this topic.

Winelover said...
on Sep. 11 2008 at 3:59 pm
This is a very deep poem for a teenager. I am highly impressed. She should be proud as should her parents for being able to write/tell a story that is very important to remember no matter what time period in history.

mnc said...
on Sep. 11 2008 at 3:15 pm
Becca did a remarkable job with this piece. She is a beautiful writer and has a great deal of potential

lucy123 said...
on Sep. 5 2008 at 11:52 pm

I am amazed that this writing is from a very cultured 14 year old. God Bless those that have an open mind and a universal understanding of how history repeats itself.

rach123456 said...
on Sep. 1 2008 at 2:48 am
This is an amazing poem. Becca put a lot of thought into this sensitive subject. This young lady has a lot of potential to be an admirable, phenomenal author. I wish amazing luck to her in her future writing career. Excellent job!