Emmett Till's Murder and How America Remembers Its Darkest MomentsBreaking News
tags: racism, civil rights, African American history, Emmett Till, historical memory
Along the edge of Money Road, across from the railroad tracks, an old grocery store rots.
In August 1955, a 14-year-old black boy visiting from Chicago walked in to buy candy. After being accused of whistling at the white woman behind the counter, he was later kidnapped, tortured, lynched and dumped in the Tallahatchie River.
The murder of Emmett Till is remembered as one of the most hideous hate crimes of the 20th century, a brutal episode in American history that helped kindle the civil rights movement. And the place where it all began, Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market, is still standing. Barely.
Today, the store is crumbling, roofless and covered in vines. On several occasions, preservationists, politicians and business leaders — even the State of Mississippi — have tried to save its remaining four walls. But no consensus has been reached.
Some residents in the area have looked on the store as a stain on the community that should be razed and forgotten. Others have said it should be restored as a tribute to Emmett and a reminder of the hate that took his life.
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