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Emmett Till (1941-1955)

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Emmett Till, 1955.

Raised in Chicago, Emmett Till was just 14 in August 1955 when he went to visit his great uncle Moses Wright in Mississippi. On his fourth day there, Till allegedly whistled at a white woman. A few nights later, the woman's husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother J. W. Milam kidnapped and then brutally murdered Emmett, tying his body to a 75-pound cotton gin fan and then tossing it in a river. Despite testimony from Wright, the killers were acquitted by an all-white jury. But Till's murder and his mother Mamie's decision to have an open-casket funeral galvanized the African-American community, including the NAACP and its Mississippi field secretary Medgar Evers.

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