The memorial sign marking the spot where Emmett Till’s mutilated body was discovered in the Tallahatchie River 61 years ago was found riddled with bullet holes over the weekend. The NY Daily News reports that the sign has been routinely vandalized since it went up in 2007.
Emmett Till’s 1955 murder became the catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement after two white men kidnapped, tortured, and brutally killed the Chicago teen for whistling at a white woman while visiting his uncle in Money, Mississippi. J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, who later confessed to the murder, were acquitted by an all-white jury.
In 2007, the Emmett Till Memorial Commission installed eight site markers, including a memorial sign at the location where the 14-year-old's body was found three days after he had been murdered.
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It was filmmaker Kevin Wilson, Jr. who posted a photo of the defaced sign on his Facebook page, stating, “The site marker is filled with bullet holes. Clear evidence that we still have a long way to go.”
Wilson also posted a photo of a site marker at the home of J.W. Milam, which was found “preserved and adorned with flowers.”
“[This] shows that there’s still people who do not want to remember or talk about Emmett Till,” Emmett Till Memorial Commission project coordinator Patrick Weems told the Daily News.
The Emmett Till Interpretive Center is now raising money to fund the replacement of the bullet-riddled sign. So far, they’ve raised over $500 of their $15,000 goal. Those who want to help can make a donation here.