Statue honoring Mamie Till-Mobley to be unveiled outside suburban Chicago high school

A memorial honoring Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till, will be unveiled Saturday outside the suburban Chicago high school she attended as a young woman, long before she became a critical player in the Civil Rights Movement.

Emmett Till’s 1955 lynching in Mississippi and his mother’s insistence on an open-casket funeral for the 14-year-old served as a catalyst for civil rights. Till-Mobley was a civil rights activist for the rest of her life.

The memorial opening to the public Saturday outside Argo Community High School in Summit, Illinois includes a bronze statue of Till-Mobley with hands spread wide and standing behind a podium, which bears bronze reliefs of her son, the Mississippi barn where he was killed and the Chicago funeral home where thousands of mourners gathered.

No one has been held accountable for the teenager’s kidnapping and murder; the white woman who accused him of whistling at and accosting her died this week at the age of 88.


Till-Mobley died in 2003 in Chicago and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously in December along with her son. Argo Community High School and the Argo Higher Education Fountain raised money toward the project and an annual scholarship for a graduate demonstrating a commitment to social justice.