How many times can racists kill a child, both physically and symbolically?
In August 1955, a 14-year-old African American boy from Chicago, Emmett Till, was visiting family in rural Mississippi when he supposedly flirted with or whistled at a 21-year-old white woman, Carolyn Bryant, who was working in the white family’s store. Four days later, her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, kidnapped Till from his uncle’s home, tortured him, shot him, then used barbed wire to tie a heavy metal fan around his neck and dropped the body in the Tallahatchie River.
After a fisherman found the body a few days later, Bryant and Milam were quickly arrested, tried and, after 67 minutes of deliberation, acquitted by an all-white jury. "We wouldn't have taken so long,” one of the jurors later said, “if we hadn't stopped to drink pop." A few months later, the two men admitted in an article in Look magazine that they had indeed killed Till.