Watch CBS News

Argo Community High School honoring Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley with memorial and scholarship

Mamie Till Mobley's former high school building memorial plaza
Mamie Till Mobley's former high school building memorial plaza 02:05

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A south suburban high school broke ground Friday morning on a memorial honoring Emmett Till and his mother Mamie Till-Mobley.

Till-Mobley graduated from Argo Community High School in Summit, where her statue will soon stand.

A bronze sculpture and landscaped plaza will be erected at the northwest corner of the school at 63rd Street and 74th Avenue in Summit to honor the legacy of Mamie Till-Mobley as an activist and educator.

School leaders, community members, and the sculpture's artists helped break ground Friday morning on the memorial walkway and sculpture bearing her name.

Till-Mobley became a civil rights icon when she insisted her son have an open casket funeral after he was lynched in Mississippi in 1955.

Argo Community High School to honor Mamie Till-Mobley with sculpture 05:35

Argo Community High School, where she was once a student, is now launching the Mamie Till-Mobley Scholarship Fund for students dedicated to a life of fighting for social equity in education.

School leaders said Till-Mobley is one of Argo Community High School's most influential graduates. She was the first Black student to make her place in the National Honor Society at Argo, and only the fourth Black student to graduate from the school.

"It was a long discussion," said artist Sonja Henderson. "We reached out to the family members and the community to get a lot of input, and that endeavor was heart-warming, heart-wrenching, and uplifting; and I just knew that I had to produce the most incredible, and beautiful, elegant, and graceful sculpture and likeness of Mamie Till."

School leaders said the sculpture will be an inspiration for future generations to come.

The sculpture and plaza are expected to be finished by April 2023.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.