Home Advocate Mamie Till-Mobley’s life and advocacy after son Emmett’s murder chronicled in new podcast

Mamie Till-Mobley’s life and advocacy after son Emmett’s murder chronicled in new podcast


The first episode of ABC News’ new podcast “Reclaimed: The Story of Mamie Till-Mobley” premiered Wednesday, June 1 and is hosted by historian and ABC News contributor Leah Wright-Rigueur.

Photographic illustration by ABC News | Gado via Getty Images

The three-part series forms a powerful narrative about the life of teacher and activist Mamie Till-Mobley, whose son Emmett Till was just 14 when he was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by a mob of men in 1955. He had visited relatives in Mississippi and was charged with wolf whistling and offending a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, now known as Carolyn Bryant Donham.

Till-Mobley made the difficult decision to leave Till’s unrecognizable remains intact and share the haunting image of his brutalized body at his open funeral.

“Let people see what I saw. I want the world to see what’s going on in Mississippi, in this great United States of America,” she told the undertaker.

Photographs of Till were published in Jet magazine, exposing the Jim Crow South violence that shocked the world and ignited the civil rights movement.

Grandma Bradley, mother of lynched teenager Emmett Till, cries as she recounts the death of her son, in Washington DC, October 22, 1955.

Gado via Getty Images

Through first-person accounts of Till-Mobley’s family members — and her own words — the series explores who she was before her son’s death and who she would ultimately become in the wake of the injustice her son suffered. son was confronted. The series also features an interview with former first lady Michelle Obama, who describes the political climate of the 1950s in Chicago, the nearby town where Till grew up.

While many remember her as the woman who spoke out against the cruelty of racism in Mississippi in the 1950s, others like her cousin Ollie Gordon got to see another side of the civil rights activist.

“Maybe six months, a year before she died, she looked at me one day and she said, ‘Ollie, I wish you could see me through other people’s eyes and see me the way they saw, “because I think she realized that to me, she was just Grandma. She was my Grandma, she was my guardian,” Gordon said, reflecting on Till-Mobley’s legacy.

“I didn’t see her as this great activist. I didn’t see her through other people’s eyes until she passed. And then it clicked when I had to take on the task of trying to make sure she was getting proper service. And when the world started calling and the president started calling.”

Listen and follow “Reclaimed: The Story of Mamie Till-Mobley” – a companion podcast to “Let the World See,” streaming now on Hulu – on major listening platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and the ABC News app.