Emmett Till’s Family Pens Open Letter to Lil’ Wayne

The remixed version of rapper Future’s “Karate Chop” song  featuring Lil Wayne has been ridiculed in the media for its disrespectful and vulgar lyrics referencing Emmett Till, the Black teen who was murdered in 1955 for allegedly flirting with a white woman. Thankfully the lyric has since been pulled by Epic Records, but the bold and offensive choice of rhyme insinuates a lack of sensitivity and respect for the history of African Americans.

Airicka Gordon-Taylor, Till’s estate heir, responded to Lil’ Wayne with an open letter.

“When you spit lyrics like, ‘Beat that p— up  like Emmett Till,’ not only are you destroying the preservation and legacy of Emmett Till’s memory…but the impact of his murder in Black history along with degradation of women,” she wrote. “ Your lyrics reopened Emmett Till’s casket and reminded the world but most importantly my family including survivors of the tragedy, of the gruesomeness of hatred and served as a reminder of the loss we suffered. Although it has been over 57 years it feels like yesterday.”

Read the letter in its entirety at Vibe.