Historical Marker of Civil-Rights Icon Emmett Till Vandalized in Mississippi
28 June, 2017, 02:08
Allan Hammons, whose firm made the marker and manages the Trail, told The Associated Press that in addition to the panels being peeled off last week, somebody used a blunt tool to scratch the sign last month.
The marker stands within yards of the infamous Bryant's Grocery & Meat Market, where white shopkeeper Carolyn Bryant alleged that Till whistled at her.
The two men were ultimately acquitted of Till's kidnapping and murder by an all-white jury, though they later publicly confessed to the killing "in a paid interview with Look magazine", the AP reported. "Vandals have been around since the beginning of time".
In October, another historical marker where Till's body was found was riddled with bullets. After Emmett Till Memorial Highway was dedicated along a 32-mile stretch of US 49 East in 2006, vandals painted "KKK" on the Emmett Till highway sign.
Till's death, and the decision of his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, to show her son's beaten body in an open casket, was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. Thousands attended the funeral, and photographs of the disfigured body were widely published.
Till was tortured and killed, and his death and the acquittal of two white men put on trial for his murder galvanized the civil rights movement.
In The Blood of Emmett Till, Carolyn Donham tells author Timothy B. Tyson, that she gave testimony about Till grabbing her around the waist and using obscenities, "but that part is not true". Hammons said it will be removed this week and taken to his office for the necessary repairs, which will cost about $500.
Cultural Leadership, a group of St. Louis high school students, visited the area on Sunday, and quickly covered the vandalized sign with text of their own. "It's not a defacing, but an erasing", the Emmett Till Memory Project's Davis Houck told The Jackson Clarion-Ledger of the latest incident.
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