January 20, 2003


Emmett Till
In 1955, while visiting relatives in the South, a young black boy named Emmett Till supposedly whistled at a white woman as he exited a grocery store. That night, that woman's husband and another white man proceeded to abduct, beat, mutilate, and then shoot Emmett in the head. As you can see from the before & after pictures above, the only way his mother could identify his body was because of a ring she'd given him just before he went on that trip. An all-white jury acquitted the two assailants, and they've subsequently died quietly of old age after a long, peaceful life as racist child murderers.
PBS just aired a documentary detailing the whole sordid affair and the efforts by Emmett's mother, also recently deceased, to find some justice in the world.
As I think about James Tate down in Texas, I'm reminded that, in some places, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
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