“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.”
– John 3:20
Evil fears the light of Jesus. On August 24, 1955, Emmett Till was picked up around 2 AM, beaten beyond recognition, shot in the head, and thrown in the Tallahatchie River. James Cone, in the Cross and the Lynching Tree, notes that the horrific act of lynching was intended to instill silence and passivity. But instead, the lynching of Emmet Till had the opposite effect. It was the bravery of Emmett’s mother who refused to let her son’s murder remain hidden. When Emmett’s body was brought back to Chicago, she insisted the sealed casket be opened for a three-day viewing so that “everybody can see what they did to my boy.” Mamie Bradley Till went to the depths of her sorrow to expose the reality of evil in the Jim Crow south.