News Brief: Obama Signs Upgraded Emmett Till Act Into Law

Categories // LA Focus, Top Stories Wednesday, 11 January 2017

News Brief: Obama Signs Upgraded Emmett Till Act Into Law
A bill named in honor of Emmett Till, the 14-year old Black teen whose lynching
in1955 sparked public backlash across the nation, has been signed into law by PresidentBarack Obama. The Emmett Till Act will make it possible for civil rights cold cases that took place prior to 1970 to be reopened, investigated and prosecuted. The legislation was originally passed into law in 2008. The upgraded version signed by Obama last month eliminates the restrictions on cases that occurred prior to 1970 and will allow ongoing investigations conducted by the FBI surrounding civil rights cases.Under the revised bill, groups would receive funding to help solve civil rights cases.Those responsible for the lynching of Till were set free by an all-white jury even after publicly admitting they killed him.

The 14-year old Chicago native was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he spoke to a 21-year old, married white woman, who would later allege that he flirted with her. Nights later the woman’s husband and half brother abducted the teen from Till’s great-uncle’s house. They beat and mutilated him before shooting him and throwing his body in the Tallahatchie River.White House Notes Advances In Equity for Women and Girls of Color’In what was the final official report on the ‘Advancing Equity for Women and Girls ofColor’, the White House announced the steps they’ve taken to elevate and address key issues that disproportionately affect women and girls of color, including women and girls from marginalized and underserved populations.According to the report, women’s high school graduation rates are up to record highs.Teen pregnancy rates are at record lows, with disparities narrowing for girls of color. And more than half of college graduates are women.Over the last eight years, the number of private sector workers with paid family leave has grown by 6.2 million—about a 73 percent increase—and 10.6 million moreAmericans have access to paid sick leave.“Our work is far from done, but we have shown that together, we can bend that arc of the moral universe toward justice,” the statement read. “We’ve seen firsthand that although our task is daunting, change only seems impossible right up until it becomes inevitable. We know that when we invest in a girl and her mother, who are struggling, we can change not only their lives but the communities in which they live. And when we work to address the challenges that women and girls of color face, we lift up our whole nation.“We know that, as President Obama has long said, when women succeed, America succeeds.”

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