‘Hard to understand’: Emmett Till memorial goes missing

Emmett Till
Emmett Till
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 10:10 AM CDT
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MONEY, Miss. (WLBT) - The Emmett Till historical marker in front of Bryant’s Grocery is missing, according to a Thursday Tweet from the Emmett Till Interpretive Center.

“It appears to have been hit by a vehicle and removed,” the Tweet states.

The news comes days after the 66th anniversary of the murder of Till.

On August 28, 1955, the 14-year-old Black teenager from Chicago was abducted from his uncle’s home near Greenwood and killed for allegedly making sexual advances at a white woman.

According to the FBI report looking into the case, Till and some relatives were leaving the Bryant Grocery and Meat Market in Money when Till whistled at the store owner’s wife. “The relatives accompanying him knew his whistle would cause trouble and they left in haste, taking Till with them,” the report states.

Three days later, Till’s body was found in the Tallahatchie River along the border between Tallahatchie and Leflore counties. The FBI reported that a 75-pound cotton gin had been tied to his neck using barbed wire and that there was extensive trauma to his head.

His body was returned to Chicago, where his mother insisted on a public funeral, with an open casket, to expose to the world the horrors that were afflicted on her young son.

The woman Till allegedly hit on was Carolyn Bryant, now Carolyn Bryant Donham. In 2017, she admitted she lied about the allegations.

Till’s death helped spark the civil rights movement.

Decades later, multiple historical markers put up to honor the teen have been stolen, lost, or vandalized.

In 2019, a new marker was dedicated in Glendora, Miss., at the site where Till’s body was recovered, to replace one that had previously been riddled with bullet holes.

The sign it replaced is currently on display at the U.S. History Museum.

Prior to that sign being damaged, three other markers also were vandalized. “The signs dedicated to the memory of Emmett Till have been stolen, thrown in the river, replaced, shot, defaced with acid, and spray painted with the letters ‘KKK,” the interpretive center wrote. “It is hard to understand how it can be so difficult to honor the memory of a murdered child - even today.”

We have reached out to the Emmett Till Interpretive Center and are waiting to hear back.

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