Newswire : Bullet-proof monument rededicated for Emmett Till

Three previous monuments were destroyed

By Frederick H. Lowe, BlackmansStreet.Today

Emmett Till
The new bullet-proof monument for Emmett Till

The Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Mississippi, on Saturday dedicated a bullet-proof sign honoring Emmett Till. The 500-pound sign replaces three others that either had been shot up by racists, including by members of a frat from the University of Mississippi, or had been thrown into a river.
Three Ole Miss frat brothers, posing with smiles and guns, shot up one of the signs. They were members of Kappa Alpha Order, whose spiritual founder is U.S. Civil War traitor General Robert E. Lee.
Two men carried the shot-up sign and placed it at the base of a Confederate statue on the University of Mississippi campus.
Relatives of Emmett Till attended the ceremony to see the sign installed in Graball Landing on the banks of the Tallahatchie River where Till’s bloated and beaten body was discovered after it unexpectedly floated to the water’s surface.
Till, a 14- year-old from Chicago, was spending the summer of 1955 with relatives in Money, Mississippi, where his mother believed he would be safe from Chicago gangs.

But two white men who brutally beat him and shot him in the head in what some call a lynching. J.W. Milam and his half-brother, Roy Bryant, murdered Till. The teenager’s lifeless body, which had been weighted down so no one would ever find it, was thrown like a bag of garbage into the Tallahatchie, a 230-mile long river that flows through Mississippi.

Jet magazine, whose editor and founder was John H. Johnson, published a photo of the open casket, showing Till’s face disfigured beyond recognition. His teeth were missing, one eye was hanging from its socket and one ear had been severed. Mamie Till, his mother, who insisted on the open casket so people could see what had happened to her son, leaned over the casket, and wept uncontrollably.

But even in death, Till did not find peace. His mother buried her son in Burr Oak Cemetery, an African American-owned cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. Investigators discovered Till’s casket had been desecrated along with others in a scheme to resell burial plots.

The first sign that notified visitors this was where Till’s body was discovered was thrown into the Tallahatchie. The next two signs were riddled with bullets. These incidents occurred over 11 years.
The new sign is heavy and sleek. It is made of thick AR500 steel and sheathed by an acrylic panel.

Emmett Till’s accuser admits it was all a lie

emmett-till

By Stacy M. Brown (The Washington Informer/NNPA Member)

More than six decades after the horrific, racially-motivated murder of Emmett Till, the White woman who accused the Chicago teenager of verbally and physically accosting her in Money, Miss., in 1955, has admitted she lied, according to a new book.

Till had allegedly whistled at and groped Carolyn Bryant, a 21-year-old White woman, while at a country store in the small town.

After the encounter, Roy Bryant, Carolyn’s husband, and J.W. Milam tracked young Emmett down, kidnapped him, tortured him, shot him, and then tied his battered body to a cotton gin fan using barbed wire and dumped him in the muddy Tallahatchie River. Later, the two men were acquitted of the murder by an all-White, all-male jury after an hour’s deliberation. Till’s brutal killing and photos of his open casket at his funeral helped spark the Civil Rights Movement.

During the trial, Carolyn Bryant testified that Emmett, who was 14, had made physical and verbal advances toward her, a sensational claim that increased tensions surrounding the case. She testified that Emmett had grabbed and threatened her inside the store – and that he had used an “unprintable” word when he told her he had been intimate “with White women before.”

But according to a 2007 interview, newly revealed in the book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” Carolyn Bryant admits that it never happened.

“That part’s not true,” she told writer Timothy Tyson, according to “Vanity Fair,” though she claimed she could not recall what happened the rest of the evening at her husband’s country store, where Emmett stopped by briefly on Aug. 24, 1955, to buy two cents worth of gum.

Till was shot in the head and was found with barbed wire wrapped around his neck; one of his eyes was gouged out. “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” she is quoted as saying. Bryant’s testimony was out of the earshot of the jury, but helped to frame the case publicly.

“I was just scared to death,” she said in court. The two killers later admitted their guilt, after their acquittals.

Emmett Till’s murder became the flashpoint in the American Civil Rights Movement. Mamie Till-Mobley, Emmett’s mother, had even insisted on an open casket at his funeral, leading to photographs of his battered corpse being spread across the country, which helped focus public attention on what was happening in the heart of the country.

In 2004, the FBI reopened the case to see if any accomplices could be hauled to court, but a grand jury decided three years later that there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges.

The young Carolyn Bryant went into hiding after the murder trial — divorcing and marrying twice more — and remained mum on the case until she gave the interview with Tyson, the “New York Post” reported.

Bryant is now known as Carolyn Bryant Donham. Donham told Tyson that she “felt tender sorrow” for Emmett’s mother, who died in 2003, but Tyson doesn’t mention if Donham expressed guilt or apologized.

Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks has said she thought about Emmett when she refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., a few months after his death.

The shocking crime was memorialized in the arts and literature; in Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s play “Dreaming Emmett,” a Langston Hughes poem, and a song by Bob Dylan.

The whereabouts of the now-82-year-old Donham are unknown.

The Washington Informer is a member publication of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Learn more about becoming a member at www.nnpa.org.