To commemorate the life of Emmett Till and ensure that no one forgets the role he played in our state and nation’s history, state Rep. Kimberly du Buclet, D-Chicago, introduced legislation to designate July 25th as Emmett Till Day in Illinois.
“The story of Emmett Till and his mother, who turned pain into power and purpose, is one that deserves to be told and remembered by all,” said du Buclet. “The outcry following Till’s lynching reverberating throughout the nation and inspired millions to stand up for civil rights. In fact, Rosa Parks cited him as one of the reasons she chose to sit down for civil rights.”
On the final day of July, du Buclet introduced House Bill 4116, which adds Emmett Till Day to the list of commemorative holidays in Illinois. Sen. Mattie Hunter will lead the legislative effort in the Senate. July 25 is the birthday of Emmett Till. du Buclet hopes that the day can be used to spur tough conversations on race in America and give back to others, in addition to remembering the life of Emmett Till. If he was alive today, he would be 82 years old.
“At a time when extremists across the country are trying to whitewash history, it is incumbent upon us to stand up and demand the truth be heard. We’ve made much progress since then, but sadly many of the issues that led to Till’s murder are still seen in our society today,” said du Buclet. “We must continue to educate our young people about the past to prevent the same mistakes in the future.”
“As extremist politicians seek to turn back the clock on protections for Black and Brown people, here in Illinois we are standing firm and saying ‘we won’t go back,’” ILBC Chair Carol Ammons said. “If Emmett Till’s tragic death represents the worst our nation has to offer, then this dedication to the change he sparked shows us that a better future is possible if we work together. I look forward to working with Representative du Buclet and the rest of my colleagues to get this important legislation passed. Emmett’s life and legacy deserves as much.”
“We are grateful to Rep. du Buclet for her initiative in commemorating the life and legacy of Emmett still with a day that will allow us to understand a moment in history that should never be forgotten,” said Chicago Urban League President Karen Freeman-Wilson.