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Emmett Till’s death seen as a cautionary tale 63 years later

The circumstances surrounding Emmett Till's death is widely known as a precautionary tale within the black community. | AP Photo

In an era where incidents involving white people calling the police on black people for grilling in the park, being seen on their own property, having a lemonade stand, and scheduling business meetings at Starbucks, the 63rd anniversary of 14-year-old Emmett Till’s brutal death continues to resonate with African-Americans.

The Chicagoan spent the summer of 1955 visiting relatives near Money, Mississippi when he was abducted on Aug. 28, three days after Carolyn Donham, a white 21-year-old shopkeeper, said Till grabbed and whistled at her.

Till was brutally beaten, shot in the head and was thrown into the Tallahatchie River, where his body was found three days later.

Bryant’s husband Roy, and his half-brother J.W. Milam, were acquitted of the murder and kidnapping of Till by an all-white jury.

The circumstances surrounding Till’s death — which is widely known as the catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement — is known as a precautionary tale within the black community.

“For 50 years, our community lived in silence, and there’s those who want to erase history,” Patrick Weems, co-founder of the county-supported Emmett Till Interpretive Center told CNN. “We’ve been through that.”

Decades later Carolyn Bryant allegedly admitted to Timothy Tyson, author of “The Blood of Emmett Till,” that she confessed that she had fabricated the most sensational part of her testimony.

Tyson’s book prompted the U.S government to renew its investigation into Till’s brutal murder.

And Americans have struggled to see Till’s murder and the acquittal of his killers for what it was.

Earlier this month, bullet holes were discovered in a sign that marks where Till’s body was pulled from the river. The sign which is the third of its kind, was installed 35 days prior to the discovery of the bullets holes.

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