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‘An America where 14-year-old Emmett Till was beaten and tossed in a river to die’

On Tuesday, a sound heard around the world
By: Carol Person , Duluth News Tribune

I saw history made last Tuesday. How often in a lifetime does a person get to say that?

I dragged my aging, arthritic body down to our National Mall in Washington, D.C., and stood in the cold with at least a million other crazy folk to celebrate a seismic event in the history of our great union. I was freezing and claustrophobic. I was pushed, prodded and herded. I stood for hours and then stood some more.

And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

I can only begin to imagine what it was like for the African-Americans in the crowd to see Barack Obama place his hand on Lincoln’s Bible. Some of them knew, and all of them remembered, an America where little black girls in white Sunday dresses died in the bombed-out rubble of a church. An America where 14-year-old Emmett Till was beaten and tossed in a river to die for whistling at a white woman. An America where three young black men were dragged from jail and lynched on the streets of Duluth.

Continued