President Biden Hosts “Till” Movie Screening

Film of The Life Of Emmitt Till’s Mother

Michelle Henry-Rodriguez, Student Writer

President Biden sponsored the movie screening of “Till” at the White House East Room on February 16, 2023. Telling the story of Emmitt Till is a reminder of the Black History of America. It is the story of Mamie Till telling her story of her 14 year old African American son, Emmitt Till. He was abducted, tortured and lynched in summer of 1955 in Mississippi following being accused of  allegedly disrespecting a white woman. It is a vivid picture of a dedication to honoring Black History Month. As stated by President Biden, “History matters”. His commitment to change is his reason for the epic screening. The audience included the family of Emmitt Till, civil rights activists, faith leaders, movie cast members, students and others.

On March 29, 2022 President Biden  signed legislation named for Till that made lynching a federal hate crime that has taken over 120 years to come to life. Hours before the February 2023 “Till” movie screening he triumphantly signed an executive order that increases the access to federal programs and services by many disadvantaged families in communities that need it. The review of the programs by federal agencies are to be annually reviewed to ensure these programs sustainability. His inspiration is the belief that “silence is complicity”and we can’t be silent. The truth of the history Black History Month carries the weight of the past, the present and the future. It’s a time to reflect, educate and endure the difficult topics and mismanaged freedom of a culture of people. The screening is to open the minds of the public to the corruption silence has wrought. The same words Emmitt heard before going to Mississippi for the summer to be mindful of his words and actions, are the same words we are telling children of color before they leave the house to go down the street. There has to be a change and Biden works to make these changes real in our society.


President Biden signs Emmett Till Antilynching Act into law on March 29, 2022.

President Biden pushes for reform and change in much of his actions and words. People remember how you listen and make them feel. As he champions for the racial and social changes in his administration, he is reminded of his past service to racial injustices as a lawyer and the honor he has for his chosen hero, the Black Press. Fighting discrimination and reporting the stories that were real, especially the reporting of Emmitt Till’s murder and the constant injustice his case has not received till this day. The business of reporting became dangerous and taxing on black communities and their leaders, but the news continued to flow.

As reported by white House press secretary,  “History matters,” Biden said in brief remarks before the lights in the East Room came down on invited guests, including members of Till’s family. He noted that while some might want to ignore the nation’s history, “Only with truth comes healing and justice.”