Emmett Till was an African American boy who was famously lynched in the state of Mississippi in 1955, after a white woman had accused him of whistling at her and making advances towards her. Two white men then retaliated in a brutal white supremacist attack. However, Till was only visiting Mississippi when this tragedy occurred. He was, in fact, from Chicago, Illinois, where relations between blacks and whites were significantly different at this point in time. Till's relatives in Mississippi would have been used to an entirely different kind of relationship between themselves and society in the South, whereas Till would have grown up without such an acute awareness of the need to behave guardedly around potential white supremacists.
Till's brutal murder, for which his killers were acquitted—after which they confessed their crimes without fear of being prosecuted again—became a symbol for the Civil Rights Movement.