“Let the people see what I have seen.” Mamie Till-Mobley launched a movement with those words, insisting on an open casket funeral for her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till, who was brutally murdered by two white men in Mississippi. That strategic decision, and the decision to publish graphic photos from the funeral in Jet magazine, galvanized the country and forced the world to finally make eye contact with the horrors being inflicted on Black people, especially throughout the American South.
Mamie Till-Mobley was an ordinary Black woman who used her darkest hour to shine a light on injustice and mobilize the masses, and for that, we celebrate her legacy on day 19 of Black History Bootcamp.



DAY 19: We are the #DaughtersOf Mamie Till-Mobley 

She could have stayed bent over in grief after bringing her sons beaten and battered body back to Chicago. She certainly deserved to mourn and to rest. But Mamie Till did what Black women do, she got to work, calling every newspaper in Chicago, determined that her son would not die in vain. Her calls worked. More than 100,000 mourners showed up to see the mutilated body of 14-year-old Emmett Till and her work would set the stage for an international firestorm and the Civil Rights movement. 

Her son's killers were acquitted of murder. With international audiences condemning the verdict and Mississippi, Mamie was hopeful that his murderers would, at least, be punished for kidnapping. But just weeks before the grand jury met, the defense attorney set upon a smear campaign by digging up information on Emmett's father, Louis Till's, past and leaking it to the press. On November 9, 1955, a Mississippi grand jury refused to indict Emmett's killers on kidnapping charges. Both men remained free. 

But Mamie was not a woman easily stopped. She took her fight to the people, touring the country, speaking to overflowing crowds, and demanding a meeting with the President. It was her determination that would ultimately light a fire under the leadership of the Civil Rights Movement. It was time to step up boldly. The events that followed, Rosa Parks arrested and city-wide bus boycotts, are marked as the beginning of the Civil Rights movement.

Now, more than 75 years later, we are still being threatened by the false accusations of white men and women who think our very existence is criminal, and on today’s call, we plan to talk about it. We plan to honor the life of Mamie Till-Mobley and every Black mother who has been forced to bear her open wounds to the world.

This is a conversation you don’t want to miss. Tune in live or download the recording.



Walk and Talk
LIVE! 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET

Weekdays, June 1 - 30, 2020

Dial: 1 (646) 876-9923 CODE: 734464325
(1 (646) 876-9923, 734464325#)
International? Find your dial-in number here.

Missed the call? Catch up on Spotify or Apple podcast.
Follow @GirlTrek on IG for today's recording.


Use #blackhistorybootcamp to join the juiciest conversation on Twitter.

- How do you feel about the use of the term "Karen"?

- What do you think the consequences of falsely calling the police on someone should be?

- What ideas do you have to reform the policing of our communities?

- What Black press outlets do you think are doing a good job at covering Black America?



LISTEN: Daughters of Mamie Till-Mobley, A Spotify Playlist 

READ: Mamie Till-Mobley, New York Times, Obituary

READ: The Unbearable Grief of Black Mothers

WATCH: Mamie Till Speaks On Forgiveness

- WATCH: The Untold Story of Emmitt Louis Till, Prime Video


IMPORTANT NOTE: Coronavirus is still killing Black people disproportionately.  Please do not gather or walk in groups until we flatten the curve in our communities. Do not trust policy over the protection of Black lives. To support mental health, we invite you to walk virtually with us each day.  This is a solo training mission to build your own discipline, fortitude, and physical strength for the days ahead.  Please wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands when you return home.


New to Black History Bootcamp?

Did you miss any of the powerful content provided in the past weeks? Catch up here. Listen to the Walk & Talks hosted by co-founders T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison on Spotify or Apple podcast.


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Something good is happening! Black History Bootcamp, a 21-day walking meditation (for daily resistance!) that celebrates one Black woman each day.  Go to blackhistorybootcamp.com to receive the daily emails.



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