Who Killed Emmett Till?
by Susan Klopfer
The Mississippi Delta is not a place I would have picked to live and if you had asked me a few years ago what I knew about the region, it would have been a puzzle since I knew nothing of its history or culture — I’d never even heard of Emmett. But it did not take long to gather fascinating information about the story of this young man who was killed in the cotton hamlet of Money, Mississippi back in 1955.
His lynching, for whistling at a white woman, is legend. His act kicked off the modern civil rights movement. When people talk about Trayvon Martin, they sometimes compare these two stories. And there is reason why.
What happened to cause a young African American student’s lynching in the Mississippi Delta? When Emmett “BoBo” Till threatened Mississippi’s rigid Jim Crow laws this fourteen-year-old paid with his life. Till’s murderers were set free yet his death spurred Rosa Parks to take her important stand in Montgomery. By the time of this 58th anniversary, the case was finally reopened with new and intriguing information.
How many people were involved? Who hid the killers overnight? Where is the first trial’s transcript? Learn new facts on this and other Delta murders – Clinton Melton and his wife (1955)- he was shot, she was drowned; Jo Etha Collier(1955), gunned down on graduation night; attorney Cleve McDowell (1997), shot to death by a client?
This Emmett Till book gives readers a unique look at Mississippi’s secret government agencies and its private white Citizens Councils that spied and did harm to those who fought segregation and more. It remains a murder mystery today.