After an Emmett Till historical marker was vandalized for a second time, teens wrote warm messages about the slain teen.
“You can destroy this marker, but you cannot destroy history,” one student wrote.
The historical marker is located on the Mississippi Freedom Trail, which is outside of the grocery store where Till was accused of whistling at a white woman while visiting his relatives in Mississippi.
Till was kidnapped and killed because 21 year-old Carolyn Bryant claimed Till whistled at her in the Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market. Bryant’s husband, Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam were acquitted by an all-white jury for the brutal murder. The brothers later confessed to the crime in an interview with Look magazine.
Till’s murder sparked the Civil Rights Movement when his mother, Mamie Till Mobley insisted on an open-casket funeral so the world could see how her son was brutalized in Mississippi.
Allan Hammons, whose public relations firm created the marker, said it was vandalized twice in the past two months as photos and various words had been removed.
Hammons said, “This site is a significant moment in the civil rights movement. People were outraged and shocked at this incredible criminal act. What Mississippi chose to do by creating the freedom trail was committing themselves to telling the unvarnished truth.”