Till-Mobley, Mamie, d. 2003
Mamie Till-Mobley became a figure in the civil rights movement after she held an open casket funeral service for her son, Emmett Till, after his slaying in Mississippi in 1955. Mrs. Till-Mobley continued to speak out about her son, but many black leaders felt her greatest role came at the height of her pain: the decision to have an open coffin. The press took pictures of Till with a bullet in the skull, an eye gouged out and his head partially crushed. His body had been found floating in the Tallahatchie River, identifiable only by the ring Till wore that belonged to his late father. Mamie Elizabeth Carthan was born in Hazelhurst, Miss., and grew up in Chicago. She was a 1956 cum laude graduate of Chicago Teachers College and in 1975 received a master's degree in administration and supervision from Loyola University in Chicago. She taught special education in Chicago elementary schools. -- Washington Post Obituaries, January 8, 2003.