Who have done something on Earth to help other people.
Friday, March 13, 2015
In Memory Of A Great Friend, Comrade And Supporter Of Hip Hop Culture, Political Prisoners, Community Activism, Independent Film and Young People Of Harlem. The Universal Zulu Nation & The Black Panther Party Commemoration Committee Salutes…
Peace, Power & Light,
Sadiki “Bro. Shep” Ojore Olugbala
Universal Zulu Nation ~ Black Panther Party Alumni
PS: There will be a Albert Maysles tribute program at the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem on March 22nd.
Universal Zulu Nation Infinity Plus Lesson On: The History and Life of Brother Owe
Owe cooking at Chapter 25’s 2nd annual family day cook out
Zulu King EL-one, Zulu Prince Owe and Zulu King Q @ a Crotona Park, Bronx
The life of Brother Owe was the life of a Hip Hop purist, He embodied Hip Hop Culture with his Aerosol Art (graffiti) This was the way Owe chose to express himself through his art. His name Owe was an acronym short for “Other Writers Executioner”. Owe joined the Elite chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation in the year of 1999. During this time Brother El one was the president and Brother Leedrock was the vice president. He was brought to the meeting of 20 plus brothers and sisters by Brother Jus- P. The word on the street was Owe was already Zulu from a different chapter, during questioning it became that he was not a part of the organization but indeed knew very much about it. Brother Owe professed his love for art and Hip Hop music and told us of wanting more knowledge of life and a bigger family that is what interested him in the Zulu Nation. Owe became a full fledged Zulu after a few meetings. He demonstrated an understanding of the basic knowledge, history and laws of the U.Z.N upon earning the rights of passage to wear his beads and medallions you would rarely see him without them. Owe would often attend universal meetings in Harlem N.Y, His outgoing character would earn him many friends who would embrace him and look forward to speaking with him. Owe would often bring his black book which was filled with tags of many street artist as well as his own pieces he would add on to this book as often as possible. Owe would proudly display
that he would have international Zulu members tag his book and vice versa, it meant a lot to Owe to have a collection of art with great work from all walks of life, but yet all apart of The Zulu Nation.
Owe’s participation in chapter meeting as well as functions was very high he would rarely ever miss the opportunity to share a good time or learn. This is where leadership gained the most respect for him through his dedication. As years passed Owe would transform his love of street art to canvas and do pieces for members of the Zulu Nation as well as his friends you would often see him on his skate board traveling through out Huntington he was known by everyone due largely to having a big family in the community as well as just being one of the most outgoing lively individuals you could meet. In the year of 2005 leadership in the Gestapo changed due to brothers coming home from prison. The direction of Brother EL one did not co inside with the direction of the elder G’s. During this era Brother El-one became Zulu King El-one in a grand ceremony located in the National Black Theatre in Harlem N.Y. Brother Owe took the ride on the train with the members for the celebration again being there for all the important events in relation to Zulu. As time passed the direction began to change in our community, the membership was growing older and wiser, through that growth came power. in regards to the Gestapo chapter things came to a boiling point and Afrika Bambaataa had a sit down with EL to discuss moving on and elevating from the jungle world he asked that Long Island establish our own identity within the Universal Zulu Nation, when this meeting ended El proposed his own chapter to be recognized and founded. Chapter 25 was born March of 2005 it was voted in by the chapter leader council in 2005 this brought about a meeting of the membership in which they were asked to choose if they would become chapter 25 or stay Gestapo. Many parted ways and quite few also stayed Gestapo. Brother Owe decided he did not want to be apart of either he loved us all and felt we are all one regardless of chapter he did not take sides for over a year or so he claimed to be Universal (apart of no chapter) upon the councils request Universal membership was terminated and Brother Owe than joined Chapter 25 he was impressed with the youth Brother El obtained through recruitment during this time he started getting tattoos to show his love and dedication to Zulu Nation. Owe first got Elite then Gestapo as well as 1973 on his wrist , These Tattoos meaning his first two chapters as well the birth year of the Universal Zulu Nation. As Owe’s love for chapter 25 grew he tattooed a Zipper many early members of chapter 25 said 25 to life meaning Zulu chapter 25 for life. Owe told Brother El the Zipper was the Zipper of a body bag meaning Zulu until he is in a body bag. You could not hold Owe back from a Zulu function he even attended meetings in crutches when he hurt himself. We would hear Owe rap, See Owe dance, See Owe do art. Owe was a true Zulu in every sense of the word. Owe was known to be the life of the party. He would often have everyone laughing until we were in tears. Owe was emotional and if you did not express your love to him often he would get aggressive and demand that love. Through time all Zulus would learn to love Owe for who he was a dedicated friend/Brother/Zulu. Owe was prankster and jokester in the most tense situations he would find a way to ease the tension and make brothers laugh. Brother Owe became very close with many of us and had a different relationship with each one of us some deeper than the next but he embraced us all and we all admired his art and passion for life.. In thinking back they were not many special times in Zulu that Owe was not apart of he was there for them all.
Between the years of 2010 and 2013 Owe had grown to become more responsible keeping consistent with maintaining a job, making more healthy choices and also becoming more spiritual he would go to the local mosque to learn about Islam as well as going to church to learn of the ways of Jesus. It was just another deep layer to the man who we called Owe. During this time Owe also completed his program at Katherine Gibbs for graphic design in which he hoped to land a career opportunity. On the day of November 19, 2013 I awoke to facebook news of Owe passing I shook my head and thought it was a hoax a ploy to garner attention Owe was a comic and he loved attention as time passed that early morning we all found out the news to be true it was devastating tears flowed like water from a burst pipe, Zulus calling my phone crying like babies. We were all in shock in loving one another we never would think to embrace the idea of death for a brother and for this brother it was true. In a terrible accident Brother Owe tripped and fell into the Syosset station track of the long island rail road in which he was hit by a east bound train heading towards Huntington. On the night of his passing Zulus from chapter 25 gathered in his name we told stories of what we shared with him the stories flowed for hours. The Chapter gathered in force along with local Zulu Chapter 17 7,18 and also Gestapo Chapter as well. All Zulu’s gathered at 7 pm to say farewell to him over 50 Zulus showed up. We made an eye opening entrance that caught the attention of the elders and youth at his services. Zulu King El one, Zulu King Q and Zulu King Bigz led the army of Zulu into the funeral parlor. Every direction you turned there was a Zulu saluting one another all you heard was Peace Ahki the formal greeting of the Zulu Nation. The pastor called beloved friends and family in to the room to speak on Travis Rittenhouse who we called “OWE” Brother Sos spoke followed by Zulu King EL one and then King Q, Each of us touched their hearts and I can only pray it touch Owes heart. It was our final fair well to our beloved Brother.
A message to the reader of this lesson on the history of Brother Owe please live your life to the fullest as Brother Owe did. Love your family as Owe did, Love Zulu as Owe did, embrace the lesson as Owe did. Get a hobby and love to practice that hobby like Owe did. There will never be another Owe and there will never be another you. Life is what you make it and I must say the Zulu life I shared with Owe he made it great.
R.I.P Owe Canvas at Brother Owe’s wake @ Connel Funeral Home Huntingon N.Y
Zulu Brothers from Chapter 25 and Chapter 17 paying respect for Brother Owe
Zulu King EL one
Chapter 25 founder
Universal Zulu Nation
The following is a re-print from African American Publications. African American Publications is committed to providing students and adult researchers with accurate, authoritative, and accessible information on a wide variety of ethnic and ethno-religious groups in the United States and Canada.
Born in 1948 in Chicago, IL; both parents were starch company employees; children: Fred Hampton, Jr. Education: Attended Triton Junior College, 1966.
NAACP, Youth Council leader for West Suburban (Chicago) Branch, 1967-68; founded and leader of Black Panther Party, Illinois Chapter, 1968-69.
Junior Achievement Award, 1966; “Fred Hampton Day” declared in Chicago, 1990.
To members of Chicago’s African American community in the late 1960s, no leader was more inspiring, more articulate, or more effective than Fred Hampton. He organized food pantries, educational programs, and recreational outlets for impoverished children, and he helped bring about a peaceful coexistence among the city’s rival street gangs. To civic leaders in Chicago, the FBI, and many others, however, he was a dangerous revolutionary leader, committed to the violent overthrow of the white-dominated system. Hampton was killed in a 1969 raid on the headquarters of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther party, in what was almost certainly a planned assassination orchestrated by Federal agents and city leaders, who feared that Hampton’s influence could lead to an all-out armed uprising by the city’s most disenfranchised residents.
Hampton was born in 1948 in Chicago, and grew up in Maywood, a suburb just to the west of the city. His parents had moved north from Louisiana, and both held jobs at the Argo Starch Company. As a youth, Hampton was gifted both in the classroom and on the athletic field. To those who knew him, he seemed a likely candidate to escape the ghetto and “make it” in the white-dominated world outside. At Proviso East High School in Maywood, Hampton earned three varsity letters and won a Junior Achievement Award. He graduated with honors in 1966.
Following his graduation, Hampton enrolled at Triton Junior College in nearby River Grove, Illinois, majoring in pre-law. He also became active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), assuming leadership of the Youth Council of the organization’s West Suburban Branch. In his capacity as an NAACP youth organizer, Hampton began to show signs of his natural leadership ability. From a community of 27,000, he was able to muster a youth group 500-members strong, an impressive size even for a constituency twice as large. Hampton considered it his mission to create a better environment for the development of young African Americans. He worked to get more and better recreational facilities established in the neighborhoods, and to improve educational resources for Maywood’s African American community. Through his involvement with the NAACP, Hampton hoped to achieve social change through nonviolent activism and community organizing.
At about the same time that Hampton was successfully organizing young African Americans for the NAACP, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense started rising to national prominence. Hampton was quickly attracted to the Black Panther approach, which was based on a ten-point program of African American self-determination. Hampton joined the Black Panther Party and relocated to downtown Chicago, where he launched the party’s Illinois chapter in November of 1968.
Over the next year, Hampton and his associates recorded a number of significant achievements in Chicago. Perhaps his most important accomplishment was his brokering of a nonaggression pact between Chicago’s most powerful street gangs. By emphasizing that racial and ethnic conflict between gangs would only keep its members entrenched in poverty, he was able to forge a class-conscious, multiracial alliance of black, Puerto Rican, and poor white youths. In May of 1969, Hampton called a press conference to announce that a truce had been declared among this “rainbow coalition,” a phrase coined by Hampton and made popular over the years by Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Equally important was Hampton’s work as a developer of community service programs. His leadership helped create a program that provided free breakfasts for schoolchildren, a program the Panters had initiated in several cities. Hampton was also instrumental in the establishment of a free medical clinic, and other programs accessible to poor African Americans. By the tender age of 20, Hampton had become a respected community leader among Chicago’s black population.
Meanwhile, Hampton was growing more militant in his political views.
Hip-hop’s political ‘Swords’/Journalist Adisa Banjoko explains how the community can create political change in his new polemical book Joshunda Sanders, Chronicle Staff Writer.
Adisa “The Bishop of Hip-Hop” Banjoko, one of the Bay Area’s pioneering hip-hop journalists, has been writing about the culture for insider magazines like the Source, XXL, Rap Pages, 4080 and Bomb for almost 20 years. He wrote a history of hip-hop’s four elements — graffiti, break dancing, DJing and rapping — for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ touring “Hip- Hop Nation” three years ago, and was even briefly at the helm of a “Chicken Soup for the Hip-Hop Soul” book project. This year, freed from the constraints of magazine assignments, he completed his new, self-published book, “Lyrical Swords: Hip Hop and Politics in the Mix.” Not that Banjoko, 34, has been a follower for his whole career. His father, the first person to buy him a turntable and teach him how to scratch records like a DJ, also exposed him to the Malcolm X speeches quoted in Public Enemy’s records. He always nurtured a love for hip-hop as a catalyst for political and artistic change. As a teen, he made friends with fellow San Bruno residents Mixmaster Mike of the Beastie Boys and mix-tape maestro DJ Vlad, and attempted to B-boy (break dance). He got his start as a hip-hop journalist at 17, when a teacher persuaded him to write for the Oceana High School paper, the Foghorn. After listening to “My Uzi Weighs a Ton,” a song by the then-unknown rapper Eazy E, Banjoko called a number listed on the B-side. “I left him a message that said, literally, ‘Hi. I work for a big-time newspaper and I want to interview you,’ ” Banjoko recalls with some embarrassment. “And he called me back! He gave me his home number.”
And so it began. Banjoko became one of the first writers to chronicle Bay Area hip-hop culture, writing about such local heavyweights as Paris, Too Short and Digital Underground at the same time the genre’s popularity grew on the East Coast. When he started out, he said, he never aspired to be the type of fluff-producing celebrity journalist whom hip-hop culture has endorsed over the past 25 years, but to be the type of person who “writes down what most people think and don’t say.” He still does. Even as he juggles life as a stay-at-home dad with his public relations work for the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement in Menlo Park, a nonprofit mentoring organization, he remains an iconoclast. Recently, months before hip-hop pioneer KRS-One was maligned in the press for saying that black people cheered after Sept. 11, Banjoko challenged him to a public debate. KRS-One had previously come to the Bay Area and advocated hip-hop as a cultural and political force transcending ethnicity, elaborating on his famous line: “Rap is something you do; hip-hop is something you live.” “After listening to him talk about ‘being hip-hop,’ for a few years,” Banjoko said, “I realized it was baseless.” (KRS-One declined the invitation to debate; he did not respond to interview requests for this profile.) Banjoko believes KRS-One turned down a public debate because he has too much to lose. “It’s not a beef; it’s a philosophical challenge,” he maintains. A study in contrasts Banjoko calls himself “Urkel in a kufi” one moment, then quotes from Plato and the Quran the next. He gave himself the moniker Bishop of Hip-Hop, however, in honor of his favorite chess piece, not because he thinks he’s some sort of high priest. He has the gracefully lanky build of a basketball player but the round- framed glasses of a geek. His goofy grin and easy wit are disarming, especially when he launches into bragging about his martial arts skills; then the smile disappears and the married father of two begins to explain his devotion to Islam. He combines a disdain for hip-hop’s current materialism with the nostalgia of an ex-rapper. In his new collection, he describes his introduction to the culture as a B-boy: “I chose that ‘cuz you didn’t have to have money to be a B-boy. You just needed heart, discipline and the courage to go out there and show the world what you got.”
The book offers concrete suggestions on how hip-hop fans can forge a political movement from the culture, instead of just telling young people to go out and vote. Banjoko also tackles misogyny and interviews respected musicians like Q-Tip and Rakaa from Dilated Peoples. It’s a far cry from the hip-hop “journalism” on BET and MTV. “Most hip-hop journalists are groupies with pens,” he said recently over lunch at a Thai restaurant in the Haight. “I don’t need to be backstage popping corks; I just need 10 minutes so I can ask these 10 questions. don’t think hip-hop journalists take themselves or hip-hop that seriously.” There are times when Banjoko seems to take himself too seriously, and there are some missteps in the book — nothing an editor couldn’t have fixed. But the book also includes enlightening essays that combine Eastern wisdom with Western analysis; a good mixture of scholarship and street wisdom.
“I know there are things in the book and things about me that are still not very refined,” Banjoko offers as explanation. “But I’m trying to be dangerously human. I acknowledge that this is all I got. There are a lot of people trying to run hip-hop, and it’s too vast and too nebulous to be run by anybody or any one personality, so I offer suggestions. Because I allow myself to be flawed in front of other people, they don’t feel so bad, freaking out about hiding their own flaws.”
Banjoko is not ashamed to write or talk about his imperfections. In high school he was a slacker, rebellious and lazy. He liked to binge-drink on weekends, dropped out of school and became “a couch-surfer” for a while. All who wander aren’t lost, though. After meeting former Black Panther Kiilu Nyasha and starting to work on the Commentator, a Panther newspaper, Banjoko earned his GED. Rappers Ice Cube and X-Clan were announcing the end of rap’s political era, Sistah Souljah was on “Donahue” and Rodney King was beaten in Los Angeles. Banjoko said his soul was aflame. He converted to Islam just before his 21st birthday. He changed his given name, Jason Parker, to the West African Adisa Banjoko — names that mean “one who makes his meaning clear” and “stay with me and go no more,” respectively. Around the same time, he met James Bernard, one of the founders of the Source magazine, at a Chuck D talk at San Francisco State University, and his hip-hop journalism career took off. Local rap historian Davey D met Banjoko when the budding journalist was also rapping. “(Banjoko) brings his own flavor to the game,” D said. “His perspective is fresh. … You don’t see a whole lot of people who have a voice these days.” One reason, D said, is that big names in the entertainment industry do not respond well to criticism. Actually, they don’t respond to it at all, meaning that reporters who aspire to be objective in hip-hop journalism may find themselves unable to talk to what D calls “marquee players” (think P. Diddy).
What keeps Banjoko honest, he says, is that he is just one of the actors in “God’s divine play. I don’t care about kicking it with any of these fools (for any reason) other than getting information from them and understanding them and trying to communicate what their music and their message means to the community and hip-hop.” Writing his own way There was a time when Banjoko floundered around, doing a bunch of jobs – – first, he was a paralegal, then a grocery clerk. He fell into public relations for a dot-com and when he got laid off in 2000, he started his own PR company. When he met Kyle Canfield, the son of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” co-creator Jack Canfield, Banjoko was already embittered by his forays into corporate America. When the book project fell apart around 2001 after creative differences between Kyle and Banjoko, he felt that he could really trust only himself with his work and his vision from then on. This is what he told Karen Johnson at Marcus Books when Banjoko and two friends, Omar Ditona and fine artist Ed “Scape” Martinez, arrived in San Francisco with a box full of “Lyrical Swords” to sell. Like many other potential buyers on that breezy Thursday afternoon, she eyed the slim, gray book while he told her about how the book came about after the demise of the “Chicken Soup” collection. Johnson listened thoughtfully, then took a stack of “Lyrical Swords” and said, “I’m a black woman. We don’t like chicken soup; we like gumbo.”
Between his trip to the Fillmore and a brief Thai food lunch in the Haight, Banjoko sold several books as he walked through the Haight wearing a black shirt designed by Martinez with the words “They wanna kill hip-hop” emblazoned on the back. He sold a book to an old-school DJ and put some books on consignment at Future Primitive Sound before the group headed back downtown.
All day, he’d been prompting Ditona to put Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) in the CD player, fluctuating between thoughtful pronouncements about faith and giddy discussions about selling his book around the Bay Area. In the midst of heavy afternoon traffic, the guys started talking about a recent trip to Bed Bath & Beyond. Suddenly, Ditona said, “They have these things that make s’mores,” and the car filled with hearty laughter. “Oh, man,” Martinez said, shaking his head in mock shame.
“If you’re so lazy you need a machine to make s’mores, I don’t know if I can kick it with you,” Banjoko began. Then the group started in with more jokes about jujitsu, more nostalgia about funnel cakes in the summer and, of course, the good old days of hip-hop. As they headed south on Highway 101 toward home, Banjoko went through his scrapbook of the old days in San Bruno. Earlier in the day, Martinez had asked him how he felt about this new milestone in his career — a book of his work that isn’t sponsored by any big-name magazine or included in any anthology (even though Banjoko and DJ Vlad are still planning to publish the work that would have been included in the “Hip-Hop Soul” book).
“It’s humbling,” Banjoko said, in earnest. Then, with a chipper smile, he noted that the box he’d brought to the city was empty. “Amazingly, everything I saw Too Short do at Eastmont Mall really works.”
For more information about the book and upcoming Bay Area readings, go to www.lyricalswords.com.
E-mail Joshunda Sanders at email@example.com.
Copyright 2004 SF Chronicle
Regarded by most to be the premier “Hip-Hop photographer in America”, Paniccioli first made his foray into the culture in 1973 when he began capturing the ever-present graffiti art dominating New York City. Armed with a 35-millimeter camera, Paniccioli has recorded the entire evolution of Hip Hop. Much in the same way Gordon Parks recorded the Civil Rights Movement, or akin to the manner in which James Van De Zee, the documentary photographer of Harlem in the 1920s, met the energy and spirit of the times head-on with his picture-making. And like Edward S. Curtis’ monumental prints of the Native peoples of North America, himself a Native American, has found a beauty and resiliency in a community often ignored by mainstream society
From Grandmaster Flash at the Roxy (a popular Manhattan nightclub of the late 70’s and early 1980s), to the athletic moves of the legendary Rock Steady Crew, to the fresh faces of Queen Latifah, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, and Lauren Hill. Paniccioli has been in the forefront documenting the greatest cultural movement since Rock and Roll in the 1950s. A true renaissance man, Paniccioli is also a painter, public speaker, and historian. He has also photographed a number of popular figures beyond Hip Hop, such as Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, and John F. Kennedy, Jr.; Britney Spears; and Ricky martin, to name a few.
The Chief photographer for Word Up! Magazine since 1989, Ernie Paniccioli’s work has also appeared in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Life, Rolling Stone, Spin, Vibe, Ebony, and The Source and XXL. His television credits include MTV and VH1. Ernie Paniccioli’s images can also be found in numerous books, including: Turn Up The Volume: A Celebration of Black Music (UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History), Rap and Hip Hop, The Voice of A Generation (The Rosen Publishing Group). And Lift Every Voice and Sing (Random House). He was chosen by KrS1 to be the spokesman for The Temple Of Hip Hop at The United Nations at the Hip Hop Peace conference in May of 2001. He was also the moderator at the Meeting Of The Minds at the Zulu Nation 27th Anniversary.
His photography was on huge display outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for The Roots, Rhymes and Rage exhibit in 1999 and a featured part of that same exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2002.
He and Kevin Powell have a book documenting thirty years of his Hip Hop photography due out in November of 2002 called “Who Shot Ya” (Amistad Press)
“We the Hip Hop World Nation and Beyond Earth must always respect our brother for what he has offered to our World Hip Hop Nation and that is his science of taking fantastic pictures of our Hip Hop World. All praise Due to the Supreme Force for our warrior, father, thinker, teacher, speaker, historian, powerful photographer. The Hip Hop Photo King”
Afrika Bambaataa, Universal Zulu Nation
“Mr. Paniccioli documented the only true representation of authentic Hip Hop history to date. He photographed the rise of the greatest inner city movement of the last 27 years of the 20th Century. The God of Hip Hop photography.”
KRS1, The Temple of Hip Hop
“Ernie Paniccioli has been that archivist of the urban emotion covering the years leading to the millennium and beyond. His work and integrity and hustle have long provided that window to the Hip Hop world that was necessary to exchange the culture way before big budget videos. We thank him for pushing our faces to the world”
Chuck D, Public Enemy
“Truly the Master Photographer of Hip Hop”
Charlie Ahern, “Wild Style” and “yes yes y’all”
“… The career of photographer Ernie Paniccioli has documented the remarkable thirty year hisory of Hip Hop. Many visitors to the exhibition “Hip Hop Nation: Roots, Rhymes and Rage” at the Brooklyn Museum in 2000 had the opportunity to see a small slice of his work. Now his entire career is captured in the compelling photographs in this volume, along with an autobiographical narrative presenting his life, from his boyhood on the streets of Brooklyn to his role as the pre-eminent photographer of Hip Hop”
Arnold Lehman, Ph.D.
Director, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York
“…For Ernie Paniccioli to focus his camera on his subjects as well as make successful environmenal portraits offers the reader a clearer understanding of how Ernie’s visibility as a photographer is respected in this community.
An impressive project, it will make an unique contribution to the complex lives of photographers, hip hop culture, fashion and performance art…”
Author, Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers
“An artist with a camera, Ernie Paniccioli’s photographs have not only documented but helped define hip-hop style. His understanding of where the music has been and his beliefs regarding where it should go gives his work an edge, a personality, that brings something special out of his subjects.
Ernie’s passion comes through in his work, and the stories recounted herein in word and images, gives us insight into the person behind the camera as well as the subjects being photographed.”
Senior Curator, Experience Music Project, Seattle, Washington
Steven “Boogie” Brown
Winner Of The Parents Choice Award
TV & Radio Spots:
Mother of lynching victim Emmett Till dies
Mamie Till Mobley died at age 81.
January 7, 2003 — Mamie Till Mobley died Monday afternoon in Jackson Park Hospital at age 81. Her son, Emmitt Till, a young Chicago boy, was brutally murdered by racists in 1955 in Mississippi.
“Emmitt’s death paved the way for some changed to be made. Some constitutional laws to be put on the books. And I think young people need to know what price was paid for the freedom we enjoy now,” said Mamie Till Mobley on Memorial Day 2002, as she visited her son’s grave.
Emmitt Till was beaten, shot and dumped in a river by Mississippi racists in August of 1955. In Chicago, his mother insisted there be an open casket so the whole country could see the brutality of racism. Many say that was the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.
“Rosa Parks said it best when asked, ‘Miss Parks, why didn’t you go the back of the bus?’ She said, ‘I thought about Emmitt Till and I just couldn’t go back,'” said Rev. Jackson.
On Tuesday morning Mamie Till Mobley’s friends gathered at 71st and Wabash, a corner that is also known as Emmitt Till Road. They want Mamie’s name to go up there, too, so she can be remembered for all she has done to keep Emmit’s memory alive.
“There are Emmitt Tills all over this world. Kids … those two kids down on 35th Street who have been missing for months. Maybe this is a call to action for all of us,” said Ziff Sistrunk, friend of Mamie.
Ziff Sistrunk spoke with Mamie Till Mobley just yesterday. He recorded some of her last words.
“I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized by what is life’s final common denominator … that something we call death,” said Mamie in 2002.
Mamie died of heart failure.