Rev. Wheeler Parker, Jr. Attends White House Proclamation for the Emmett Till National Monument


Photo © Samuel Corum | Bloomberg | Getty Images.

On Tuesday, July 25, President Joe Biden signed a proclamation at the White House, establishing a national monument in honor of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. Emmett Till’s story played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement after he was abducted, tortured and lynched in 1955. Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr. is the co-author of A FEW DAYS FULL OF TROUBLE, and as the last surviving witness to the lynching of Emmett Till, the book includes poignant recollections of Emmett as a boy, critical insights into the recent investigation, and powerful lessons for racial reckoning, both then and now.

Emmett Till (l) and Wheeler Parker Jr. (r) riding bikes with a family friend in Illinois.

The proclamation established the Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley National Monument, across three sites in two states on the day that would have marked Emmett’s 82nd birthday. The intimate ceremony included 60 guests, including family members and civil rights, and of course, Reverend Wheeler Parker, Jr.

Reverend Wheeler Jr. is a pastor, a lecturer on the history of the struggle for equal justice, and  cousin of Emmett Till, who was with his cousin on the night he was abducted in Mississippi. “America is changing, America is making progress,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years and I try to tell young people that they happen, but they happen very slow,”

Click on below video to watch Emmett Till’s cousin reflect on his legacy: “He loved his life.


Posted: July 27, 2023