Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy birthday, Emmett Till

If he hadn't been kidnapped in the dead of night and murdered by Roy Bryant and his half brother JW Milam for whistling at Mr. Bryant's wife Carolyn on a dare, Emmett Till would be 73 years old today.

It really wasn't that long ago, was it.

The nation (read: white people) couldn't believe that an all white, all male jury took less than an hour to deliver a not guilty verdict. They really couldn't believe that they weren't ever brought up on kidnapping charges. The kicker for the rest of the world was that nobody in Mississippi (read: white people) seemed to care. It was just another day, same as any other -- except it wasn't. This became the spark that started the civil rights movement. To read an account of the murder trial, click here. If you'd like to read the killer's confessions as published in the January 1956 issue of Look magazine (including letters to the editor -- some of which are straight up creepy), click here. To view the documentary The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, watch below.

The widow of one of the killers -- Juanita Milam -- died recently. Hm. I wonder where Mrs. Carolyn Bryant is now?

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