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New Emmett Till marker dedicated to replace vandalized sign

Emmett Till | Source: MGN Online

A new bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till was dedicated Saturday in Mississippi after previous historical markers were repeatedly vandalized.

Posted: Oct 19, 2019 11:15 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2019 11:15 PM

GLENDORA, Miss. (AP) — A new bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till was dedicated Saturday in Mississippi after previous historical markers were repeatedly vandalized.

The brutal slaying of the 14-year-old black teenager helped spur the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.

The 14-year-old African American teen was kidnapped, beaten and killed in 1955, hours after he was accused of whistling at a white woman. His body was found in a river days later. An all-white jury in Mississippi acquitted two white men of murder charges.

Patrick Weems, executive director of the Emmett Till Memorial Commission, said the new marker was dedicated Saturday.

Members of Till's family, including a cousin who was there the night Till was kidnapped, attended the ceremony at the site where the teen's body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River.

This is the fourth historical marker at the site. Previous ones became a target for vandals.

The first historical marker was placed in 2008. Someone tossed it in the river. The second and third signs were shot at and left riddled with bullet holes.

The new 500-pound (225-kilogram) steel sign has a glass bulletproof front, Weems said.

Weems said the markers were placed as an attempt to acknowledge the truth of what happened there and hopefully spark "new conversations."

"For 50 years nobody talked about Emmett Till," Weems said.

"I think we just have to be resilient and know there are folks out there that don't want to know this history or who want to erase the history. We are just going to be resilient in continuing to put them back up and be truthful in making make sure that Emmett didn't die in vain."

Two of Till's cousins, the Rev. Wheeler Parker and Ollie Gordon, attended Saturday's ceremony, Weems said.

Parker had traveled with Till in the summer of 1955 from Chicago to the Mississippi Delta to visit relatives.

In a speech in Mississippi last year, Parker recalled the immediate sense of danger he felt when they encountered the woman at the store. Parker awoke hours later — at 2:30 a.m. — to the sound of Till's assailants knocking on the door of their grandparents' cabin and his grandmother offering them money to leave the family alone.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds215239
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Madison122234
Jones106949
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Forrest81442
Scott75015
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Pike36712
Attala35223
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Newton3289
Sunflower3066
Covington3025
Bolivar27713
Panola2706
Adams26718
Chickasaw25918
Tate2577
Jasper2506
Marion24811
Pontotoc2476
Noxubee2458
Pearl River24432
Winston2435
Clay24210
Claiborne23610
Simpson2303
Smith20611
Clarke20124
Marshall2013
Coahoma1866
Kemper17614
Union1759
Walthall1724
Yalobusha1617
Carroll16011
Lawrence1591
Itawamba1278
Calhoun1244
Humphreys1239
Tippah12311
Webster12310
Montgomery1222
Hancock12013
Jefferson Davis1064
Tallahatchie1043
Prentiss983
Greene927
Jefferson923
Wilkinson919
Tunica893
Amite822
George743
Choctaw714
Quitman680
Tishomingo681
Perry614
Alcorn561
Stone521
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena71
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 39604

Reported Deaths: 961
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
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Lawrence1010
Washington1007
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Lamar711
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Clay582
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