‘Your Lyrics Reopened Emmett Till’s Casket:’ Till Family Pens Powerful Open Letter To Lil Wayne

February 21, 2013  |  

Source: Biography.com

Last week we reported on how outraged the family of Emmett Till was over Lil Wayne’s offensive rap lyrics that compared Till’s brutal killing to sexual acts to be performed on a woman. Now, family members of the gruesomely murdered teen are doing some writing of their own. In a two-page open letter to Lil Wayne, which was published by Vibe, the Till family addresses the power of words and how the rapper’s lyrics were destructive to their relative’s legacy. Check out an excerpt of the letter below.

“Yesterday marked a week since the “unofficial” release of “Karate Chop~remix” inclusive of your lyrics. The words we speak are powerful enough for preservation of life but also have the capacity to destroy it. When you spit lyrics like “Beat that p—-y up like Emmett Till”, not only are you destroying the preservation and legacy of Emmett Till’s memory and name, but the impact of his murder in black history along with degradation of women.

“The tongue possesses power! I could offer you a history lesson and talk about the trailblazers that paved the way for our people and lyricists to engage in freedom of speech such as Marcus Garvey, Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mamie Till Mobley; but this isn’t an argument about freedom of speech. It is critical that we stay true to urgency of the hour… our youth! Your “celebrity” thrusts you into the spotlight affording you the opportunity to embrace your role as a black man, father, friend, and artist that has the ability to reach international audiences. Are you bothered in the least by the staggering statistics of the extinction of our children?”

You can read the letter in its entirety here. What do you think of the family’s decision to write a letter to Wayne? 

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