A Family Woman

A memorial plaque at the grave of Mamie Till-Mobley. 

ALBANY, NY (Nov. 18, 2016) — Civil Rights Movement icon Mamie Till Mobley will be celebrated Tuesday, Nov. 22, with a 95th Birthday Anniversary Celebration.

The event, organized by the Multicultural Resource Center and the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center prior to the celebration event at 7 p.m. The final event of the evening is a memorial to Tamir Rice at 9 p.m. near the small fountain.

Mamie Till-Mobley was the mother of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy who on August 29, 1955, was abducted and brutally murdered by a group of white people after he spoke with a white woman at a convenience store. Till-Mobley gained national attention after her decision to hold an open casket funeral of her horribly disfigured son so that, in her words, the world could “see what they did to my baby.”


Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie.

The funeral drew thousands, invigorating the Civil Rights Movement. Till-Mobley was invited to take part in a speaking tour with the NAACP, which became one of the most successful fundraising initiatives in the organization’s history.

Till-Mobley passed away in 2003 at the age of 81, having devoted her life to activism and education. Tuesday’s event at the PAC Recital Hall will take place one day before she would have turned 95.

The night’s main program will celebrate Till-Mobley, with tributes to her life and her impact on the Civil Rights Movement. Amberly Carter, program coordinator with the MRC and a cousin of Mamie and Emmett, said that the theme of the night’s program will be family. Other members of Till-Mobley’s family will be in attendance, with the reception serving as a time when scholars and members of the community can meet with them and develop a deeper understanding of Till-Mobley and her legacy.

Prior to this event, the MRC will also be hosting the “Before I Die…” project, which allows students to share their “goals, aspirations, dreams, and passions” by writing them out on the Charity Wall in the Lecture Center. Students who participate in this will be invited to sign a card and donate to the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old African-American boy who was shot and killed in Ohio two years ago by police officers responding to a report of a suspicious male. Till-Mobley’s birthday and the anniversary of Rice’s death both fall on Nov. 23.

The Mamie Till-Mobley 95th Birthday Anniversary Celebration is a free event that is open to the public. Amberly Carter will be giving away advance copies of her newest book, “Buried Alive: Remembering 7 Lessons Mamie Taught Me on Black Leadership,” at the event on a first come first serve basis.

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