Emmett Till: The Memorial That Was Vandalized Until They Made It Bulletproof

By | January 13, 2020

Emmett Till was visiting his family when he was marked for death

The legacy of Emmett Till is one of anger and brutality. His death at the hands of two white men in the Mississippi Delta was one of the major sparks of the Civil Rights movement of the 20th century. It was an event that should never be forgotten, but there are people in Mississippi who desperately want to ignore the tragedy of this 14-year-old boy. After a memorial was put up to honor the life and horrible death of Emmett Till in 2008, people immediately started vandalizing it. By 2019, Till's family and others who wished to keep his memory alive were sick of it, so they created a bulletproof memorial on the bank of the river where Till's body was found. 

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Source: Biography

Emmett Till didn't even live in Mississippi. He was from Chicago and visiting family in the small Delta community of Money, Mississippi when he walked into a store owned by Roy and Carolyn Bryant on August 24, 1955. At her husband's trial, Carolyn Bryant testified that the 14-year-old boy grabbed her, and when she went behind the counter, he followed while using crude language, then gave her a "wolf whistle" when he left the store. None of that happened; Carolyn Bryant recanted her story decades later. After she spun the tale for her husband, however, Roy Bryant was furious. Shortly thereafter, he and his half-brother committed one of the most obscene murders of the 20th century.

Till was put through unspeakable torture before his death

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Source: History Channel

It was the middle of the night when Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam showed up at the house where Till was staying. After waking up Till's family, they pulled the young man out of the house in front of the entire neighborhood before throwing him in the back of a truck and driving into the night. The men drove Till deep into the Mississippi Delta before getting lost while searching for a specific bluff. The racist morons then decided to turn around and drive the 75 miles back to a toolshed behind J.W.'s house, where they repeatedly pistol whipped the boy. The men later claimed that Till antagonized them even as they beat him, and while these two aren't exactly reliable narrators, it's a nice thought.

Rather than just call it a day, the creeps drove Till to a bridge over the Tallahatchie River before making the 14-year-old strip and carry a 3-ft. cotton gin fan. The men claimed that Till refused to buckle under their anger, so they shot him in the head and tied the gin fan around his neck with a noose of barbed wire. They then pushed Till's body into the water and let it float away before heading back to Milam's toolshed and burning their victim's clothes.