Vandals have once again targeted the Emmett Till monument which will have to be replaced. The action sparks sadness amongst those who remember the case and do not wish for a repeat.
The monument, a sign in the memory of Emmett Till has been severely damaged after an as yet unknown group or single vandal has shot a consistent number of bullets and skewered the memorial sign.
The Emmett Till monument was erected to respect the young African American that was killed in the 1950’s for whistling at a young woman. The case sparked a great controversy and became, at the time, one of the sparks and reasons of the civil rights movement.
The case, which should have already been resolved but is still being investigated, goes like this. In 1955, in Mississippi, a 14-year-old boy by the name of Emmett Till was killed after allegedly wolf-whistling at a white woman.
The boy was mercilessly beaten, then shot and had his body, that was sporting around his neck a cotton-gin fan was thrown into the Tallahatchie River.
The mother of the boy, Mamie Till-Mobley, insisted on a controversial open-casket memorial service for her son, as she declared that the whole world should see what the criminals had been capable of doing to her boy.
Both the murder and the mother’s open-casket move are seen as some of the elements that sparked colored people from all around the country to take action and the events in itself were ingrained in the collective consciousness of the American population.
The event had a huge following even at the time, with the memorial being filed by hundreds of thousands of mourners, with many more million seeing the youth’s mutilated body in magazines.
It also led to a number of creations from the hands of celebrated artists and activists, with Bob Dylan and Muhammad Ali being just two among the many more that were touched by the event.
Another reason for controversy both then and now was the fact that two of the presupposed more murderers, even though they were caught and admitted to having committed the deed, were acquitted and left free.
After many debates on the matter, a 2007 federal legislation bill allowed for the reopening of this and a number of more cases left unclosed, to be re-judged and brought to peace.
The Emmett Till monument vandalism, which unfortunately is a sign that we still have quite a way to go, was discovered by a film student looking for filming locations.
As the Emmett Till Interpretative Center has already started raising funds in order to replace it, the local County Sheriff’s Office declared their sadness over the matter, especially as this is not the first reported incident of the type.
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