On Wednesday, February 26, Congress officially approved a bill designating lynching as a hate crime under federal law punishable by up to life in prison, a fine, or both.
Originally introduced by Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush, the bill was named after Emmett Till, a 14-year old boy who was lynched in 1955 in Mississippi after a white woman accused him of grabbing her and whistling at her in a Mississippi grocery store. His death is considered the spark that started the Civil Rights Movement.
This bill has had a long history and comes 120 years after Congress first considered anti-lynching legislation and numerous efforts with similar goals were shut down.
The Senate unanimously passed the legislation last year. The House passed the bill 410 to 4 and will now go to the White House, where President Donald Trump is expected to sign it.