- Feb 6, 2002
President Biden will establish a national monument on Tuesday honoring Emmett Till, the Black teenager who was brutally killed in 1955, and paying tribute to his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, according to White House officials.
In August 1955, Emmett was 14 years old and visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta when he was kidnapped, tortured and killed after a white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, accused him of whistling at her at the store where she worked. Her husband at the time, Roy Bryant, and J.W. Milam, his half brother, abducted Emmett at gunpoint and drove him to a barn about 45 minutes away. After torturing him, they shot him in the head and tied a 75-pound cotton gin fan to his neck with barbed wire and threw his body into the Tallahatchie River.
Emmett’s body was eventually pulled from the river, though his remains could be identified only by the silver ring on one of his fingers. One eye was gouged out, both of his wrists were broken and parts of his skull were crushed.
The case went to trial, but an all-white, all-male jury acquitted the two men, Mr. Bryant and Mr. Milam, who had been charged with murder. Later, a grand jury chose not to indict them on kidnapping charges. After the men were acquitted and immune from further prosecution, they confessed to the murder. They are both dead.
Last year, a Mississippi grand jury declined to indict Ms. Donham, whose accusations prompted the killing, on charges of kidnapping or manslaughter. She died in April.
n 2008, eight signs detailing Emmett’s story were installed in northwest Mississippi, including one in the area of Graball Landing. A year later, the sign at the spot on the river where Emmett’s body was discovered was stolen and thrown into the river. A replacement sign was soon marred with bullet holes. In 2018, another replacement was installed, but 35 days after it went up, it, too, was shot up. In 2019, a new, bulletproof sign was installed, along with a surveillance system.
The monument, expected to be established on Tuesday, will consist of three protected sites in Illinois and Mississippi.
White nationalists were proud of their vandalism to the previous Till memorials.
The Emmett Till Memorial Commission executive director said the group, carrying a neo-Confederate flag, appeared to be making a propaganda video.
I'm sure Ron DeSantis will claim some sort of benefit to blacks from Emmitt's assassination. I'm also sure our resident racism apologists will claim we still don't know who is primarily responsible for racism in this country.