Monday, October 24, 2016

Sign marking where Emmett Till was murdered riddled with bullet holes

A sign marking the spot where 14-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered, one of the seminal events that led to the Civil Rights movement, has been riddled with bullets.

Image may contain: outdoorNew York University film student Kevin Wilson made the discovery while working on a short movie about the Till murder and posted it on his Facebook page where it has been shared more than 13,000 times.

From today's Washington Post:

The sign that marks the spot where Till’s body was discovered has been stolen and vandalized on several occasions since it first went up in 2008, according to the Clarion-Ledger. The Emmett Till Memorial Commission installed eight markers like it around the county, and the sign near the river has seen the most damage.

“These are easy targets, a low-risk outlet for racism,” Dave Tell, an associate professor at the University of Kansas who is part of the Emmett Till Memory Project, told the Clarion-Ledger. Some people, he said, see “civil rights monuments as a form of reverse discrimination, a threat to their own well-being.”

Monday, December 15, 2014

Congressman Cleaver meets with Emmett Till family

(From Missouri Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

I was just a small boy growing up in Texas, when I heard about the murder of another boy in Mississippi. His name was Emmett Till, he was 14-years old, and I remember how frightened I was at the time because I didn't understand what had happened. My comprehension, though, grew a hundred fold when I saw a picture of his battered and burned body. It was published in the pages of Jet magazine -- and I was changed forever.

Now, I hope to help bring attention to cases like that of Emmett Till, and so many others. To that end, this week I met with family members of Emmett, Frank Morris and the five fishermen killed in Pensacola, Florida. Congressman Bennie Thompson, from Mississippi, organized the meeting, and members of the Cold Case Justice Initiative from Syracuse University School of Law were also there. The goal is to bring awareness to the Till case, and the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Act of 2007, and to discuss ways member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and others, can work with the Department of Justice on these cases.

The Cold Case Justice Initiative has identified more than 300 unsolved civil rights cases and suspicious killings. The focus now is to have tools already in place, like the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Act, actively enforced and possibly extended.

As a young child, scared and confused by what happened to a boy in Mississippi who I'd never met, not in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be able to lend assistance to his and other families, as well as to investigations. As I grew older following the years of Emmett's death, my understanding grew deeper, along with my resolve to fight these horrific crimes, and the injustices they represent for all of us. I am proud to do just that.

(Photo- Congressman Cleaver meets with family members of Emmett Till, and others, to bring awareness to unsolved civil rights cases.)