A picture book biography of the mother of Emmett Till, and how she channeled grief over her son's death into a call to action for the civil rights movement.
Mamie Till-Mobley is the mother of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy who was brutally murdered while visiting the South in 1955. His death became a rallying point for the civil rights movement, but few know that it was his mother who was the catalyst for bringing his name to the forefront of history.
In Choosing Brave, Angela Joy and Janelle Washington offer a testament to the power of love, the bond of motherhood, and one woman's unwavering advocacy for justice. It is a poised, moving work about a woman who refocused her unimaginable grief into action for the greater good. Mamie fearlessly refused to allow America to turn away from what happened to her only child. She turned pain into change that ensured her son's life mattered.
Timely, powerful, and beautifully told, this thorough and moving story has been masterfully crafted to be both comprehensive and suitable for younger readers.
In an extraordinary volume, Joy's cadenced prose and Washington's dimensional cut-paper artwork portray Mamie Till-Mobley's (1921–2003) life and efforts seeking justice for the brutal murder of her son Emmett Till (1941–1955). After introducing Till's death, lines flash back to Till-Mobley's childhood in small-town Illinois. "The first African American to graduate at the top of her class," she later experiences an abusive marriage and nurses young Till through polio. Both move for new opportunity in Chicago, but Till misses family and space. Despite "an ache deep down in her soul," she sends him to visit relatives in Mississippi, and his lynching there, and Till-Mobley's pursuit of justice, has a galvanizing effect on the civil rights movement. Contextualizing endnotes conclude this necessary title whose reiterative refrain characterizes Till-Mobley's actions as "the harder thing" and "the braver thing/ that changed everything." Ages 8–12.