The Times podcast: An ‘Emmett Till moment’ for guns?

Mamie Till Mobley weeps at her son's funeral
Mamie Till Mobley weeps at her son’s funeral on Sept. 6, 1955, in Chicago. The mother of Emmett Till insisted that her son’s body be displayed in an open casket, forcing the nation to see the brutality directed at Black Americans in the South.
(Chicago Sun-Times)

In the wake of the Uvalde massacre, Emmett Till’s name is again at the forefront of a national conversation, this time about gun control. Till was the 14-year-old boy lynched by a group of white men in 1955 in Mississippi. Images of his mutilated body shocked the country and galvanized civil rights activists.

As people inside and outside newsrooms struggle with whether showing brutal images of slain children might move people and politicians toward collective action, Emmett’s family talks about power and pain, and the impact and limitations of an image.


Today, in honor of Juneteenth, we kick off a week of episodes about the Black experience with the question: Is this country in the middle of another “Emmett Till” moment?

Read the full transcript here.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times reporter Marissa Evans

More reading:

After Uvalde shooting, people consider an ‘Emmett Till moment’ to change gun debate

Hearts ‘shattered’: Here are the victims of the Texas school shooting

House passes gun control bill after Buffalo, Uvalde attacks

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers David Toledo, Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineers are Mario Diaz and Mark Nieto. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.