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This is a picture of my brother, who got this gash in his head by being smacked in the face with his surfboard. He texted me this photo without any pretext to it. I was shocked and confused upon receiving the message, and immediately began questioning him if he was okay and what had happened. He told me what had happened, and further explained that he wanted me to be careful whenever I went surfing and to never surf alone in case something like this happened to me. While my brother is by no means a martyr, the image of his bloody face and the associated message vaguely reminded me of Emmett Till’s situation. Rather than shield me from the gore, my brother thought that my seeing the gore would make me be more careful when I surfed. The image in this case was more powerful than a  verbal foreboding. Similarly, Emmett Till’s disfigured body was a strong image in that it captured the atrocities that were happening to African American’s in the South before the Civil Rights Movement. Again, rather than shield the nation from Till’s body, Mrs. Till wanted the world to see the truth and heighten her message of the lynchings/killings needing to be stopped.




I understand your point totally, the image is impacting and he knew that his message would be much more clear accompanied by such a strong visual. The case at hand is of your brother, there for it is a lot more impacting to you. Same thing happened with Emmett, as they mentioned, he was a loving and outgoing child making what happened to him even more painful and probably a influential factor in its impact in society.


This is a really interesting take on the Emmett Till article. This image is definitely shocking and would raise so many questions and concerns if it was one of my siblings, friends, or even a stranger. Without any text or a warning, it makes the image very powerful.

Joel Skelton

That’s an interesting comparison. To show an image of an injury with no pretext until you request it sends a powerful message not unlike the Emmitt Till photographs.


This picture definitively shocked me when I opened this website. Ouch! If this picture has impact on me imagine the shock people had of Emmet Till’s body when it was exposed. Though many thought this was not correct (mostly whites) I believe the mother was very brave to show this and make people realize what actually was going on with Blacks and how they were treated.

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