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One year ago today, President Biden signed The Emmett Till Antilynching Act, a law which follows more than 100 years and 200 failed attempts by US lawmakers to pass anti-lynching legislation. 

The Emmett Till Antilynching Act is named for the Black teenager whose brutal murder in Mississippi in 1955 helped spark the civil rights movement.

As a result of the passage, perpetrators of a lynching – death or injury resulting from a hate crime – will face up to 30 years in jail.

In February, President Biden recalled the history of lynching at a White House screening of a new movie about Emmet Till, and celebrated the passage of a bill making lynching a federal hate crime saying “some people still want to do that.”

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Biden recalled Black people “lynched for simply being Black, nothing more.”

“With White crowds, White families gathered to celebrate the spectacle, taking pictures of the bodies and mailing them as postcards,” Biden remembered. “Hard to believe, but that’s what was done. And some people still want to do that.”

“Silence is complicity. It really is. Silence is complicity. Folks, we can’t remain silent,” Biden said.

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“We should know everything about our history. And that’s what great nations do, great nations, and we’re a great nation. And that’s why history matters so much. You know, that’s why this film matters so much. You know, it was almost exactly one year ago that I signed a law more than 100 years in the making.”

The legacy of Emmett Till continues

In 2022, Emmett and Mamie Till-Mobley received Congressional gold medals, a statute of Emmett was erected, a cousin of his is engaged in Oklahoma politics and the family has renewed calls for accountability for his gruesome murder.

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Boasting a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96 percent, movie audiences have watched and learned about an injustice committed upon Till, yet so many other racism-fueled tragedies have gone untold.

With President Biden’s passage of The Emmett Till Antilynching Act, baseless and hateful offenders are finally being held to account like never before.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...

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