Emmett Till was a 14 year old African American boy from Chicago visiting Mississippi in 1955, when a white woman claimed he whistled at her and tried to grab her.
Her husband and his half brother arranged for this young boy to be kidnapped, tortured, and murdered, with his face and body left in horrific condition, which was revealed in an open casket at the funeral. Sadly, the two men were found not guilty by an all white jury, although years later, they admitted to the killing, and the woman admitted she had lied about Till making a pass at her.
Lynchings had gone on in the South since after the Civil War, and legislation had been introduced regularly since 1900, and finally, the act of lynching was made a federal crime, punishable by 30 years in prison, and signed into law by President Joe Biden.
Lynching was used as a tactic even in states outside the South, and while African American males were the major victims, there were also Jews, Italians, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans who were subjected to such heinous crimes, most often without accountability. And there have been recent examples in the past thirty years of gay Americans being victimized.
This legislation gained all but three votes in the House of Representatives, and a unanimous vote in the US Senate, and marks the end of a long fought battle to deal with lychings in more than 4000 cases from 1877 to 1950.
The killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in 2020 was a recent example of what is perceived as a lynching, but done by firearms rather than hanging or beating. But the men involved were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, thankfully.
Racial hatred remains a disease in America, but now, at least justice is served with federal legislation.