Statue Honoring Emmett Till’s Mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, Unveiled at Argo Community High School

Statue Honoring Emmett Till’s Mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, Unveiled at Argo Community High School

The legacy of Mamie Till-Mobley lives on, thanks to Argo Community High School in Summit, Illinois.

ABC 7 Chicago reports a sculpture in the likeness of the civil rights icon was revealed close to the school where Mobley was a student on Saturday. A memorial walkway was also named in honor of her son, Emmett, who was murdered by two white men in Mississippi in 1955.

Till-Mobley was the first African-American student to make the honor roll at Argo and was the fourth student of color to graduate. “This is a great, great honor. She always said, ‘Remember the past, and educate the future,’ and we see that happening today,” Ollie Gordon, a relative of Till-Mobley’s, said.

The 850-pound sculpture and walkway face the high school, adjacent to the neighborhood where Mamie and Emmett once lived, with their former home becoming a historic landmark. Sculpture artist, Sonja Henderson, started the project with clay back in 2021.

“We want to make sure her story is ever-lasting,” said Argo Community High School District 217 Superintendent Dr. William Toulios, according to ABC 7 Chicago.

State officials who attended the ceremony, like state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, said Till-Mobley’s bravery continues to be felt during these trying days.

“Mamie Till-Mobley’s bravery was felt and is still felt across the nation. She personalized strength and action and showed up,” Lightford said, according to The Hill. After her son’s brutal murder, the grieving mother stood strong and demanded an open-casket funeral, where thousands of attendees would see what happened to her son and news photographs of his body would make national headlines, opening a new wave of the civil rights movement.

This historical unveiling happened the same week as the death of 88-year-old Carolyn Bryant Donham, the white woman who prompted Emmett’s death by claiming he whistled at her. For years, activists and beyond called for Donham to be prosecuted for her role in the teen’s murder.