The torture and death of black teen Emmitt Till in 1955 stands as one of the most gruesome examples of racism in America.
Here’s how History.com describes Till’s last hours on earth for the “crime” of flirting with a white woman:
His assailants–the white woman’s husband and her brother–made Emmett carry a 75-pound cotton-gin fan to the bank of the Tallahatchie River and ordered him to take off his clothes. The two men then beat him nearly to death, gouged out his eye, shot him in the head, and then threw his body, tied to the cotton-gin fan with barbed wire, into the river.
Oprah Winfrey says the death of Trayvon Martin, the Floriday teen shot and killed by George Zimmerman during an altercation, is the “same” as Till’s case.
Trayvon Martin, parallel to Emmett Till,” Oprah told The Grio’s Chris Witherspoon. “Let me just tell you, in my mind, same thing. But you can stuck in that and not allow yourself to move forward and to see how far we’ve come.