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In the rural areas, economic opportunities for blacks were almost nonexistent.

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When Carthan was two years old, her family moved to Argo, Illinois, as part of the Great Migration of rural black families out of the South to the North to escape violence, lack of opportunity and unequal treatment under the law.

Argo received so many Southern migrants that it was named "Little Mississippi"; Carthan's mother's home was often used by other recent migrants as a way station while they were trying to find jobs and housing.

Protected against double jeopardy, the two men publicly admitted in a 1956 interview with Look magazine that they had killed Till.

Till's murder was seen as a catalyst for the next phase of the Civil Rights Movement.

The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the United States.

Last modified 21-Feb-2020 13:12