For the second time, a sign dedicated to the life of Emmett Till has been vandalized in Mississippi. The sign at the historical site marking the area where Till’s body was recovered in 1955 was shot up just 35 days after it had been replaced.
“The Emmett Till Interpretive Center is committed to seeing the sign replaced,” co-founder Patrick Weems told the Clarion-Ledger. “We have already begun plans to replace the sign and have notified local law enforcement about the vandalism.”
Till, a 14-year-old visiting from Chicago, was lynched, shot and tortured before his death on Aug. 28, 1955, for reportedly whistling at a white woman while visiting relatives in Mississippi. But he never did it. Carolyn Bryant recanted her story decades later.
The first Emmett Till sign was stolen. A second sign, erected in 2013, was riddled with more than 30 bullet holes (below).
It took 19 days for two white men, Roy Bryant and his brother-in-law J.W. Milam, to be acquitted of murder by an all-white jury, which deliberated for less than an hour.
The murder, acquittal and publication of a graphic photograph of Till’s battered body in Jet magazine galvanized the civil rights movement.