They threw him into a river, naked, and left him to die. His head was shot, his teeth were knocked out, and his face and genitals were cut up.
When his mother identified his body, she could smell its decomposition from blocks away.
14 year-old Emmett Till was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 by Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam. Bryant’s wife, Carolyn Bryant, claimed Till assaulted her.
Eyewitnesses later reported Till merely whistled, unaware this could get you killed in the Jim Crow South.
Mamie Till found the strength to hold an open casket funeral, and images from it ignited the Civil Rights movement – America couldn’t deny its racism, especially after an all-white jury acquitted Till’s killers.
But what about Carolyn?
It’s a long shot, but Till’s family is currently advocating for a kidnapping case against 88 year-old Carolyn, believing she’s also responsible for his death.
While the only true justice would be for something like this to never happen again, in the meantime we must hold people accountable and remind the world that Black children aren’t disposable.