Greetings Good People,
I just finished reading a very disturbing yet heartfelt book, written by Devery S. Anderson, and I wanted to provide you all with a review.
Wednesday Aug.24 ^about 7:30 or 8 P.M. (dark)^ boy came to candy counter & I waited on him & when I went to take money he grabbed my hand & said [“]how about a date[“] and I walked away from him and he said “what’s the matter Baby can’t you take it?[“] He went out door and said “Goodbye” and I went out to car & got pistol and when I came back he whistled at me—this whistle while I was going after pistol—didn’t do anything further after he saw pistol.
Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement gives a descriptive breakdown of the events that occurred prior, during, and after the hate crime that killed 14-year-old Till in Money, MS.
On August 20, 1955, Till along with his great uncle, Mose Wright, and cousin, Wheeler Parker, went to Mississippi to visit family; Till’s stay was initially supposed to last two weeks, according to his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. All seemed to be going well until Wednesday, August 24, when Till, his cousins, and a group of friends, went to Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market in Money. The events that transpired between Till and 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant (a white woman), who worked behind the counter, were the catalysts behind his untimely death.
Allegedly, Till touched her hand, asked for a date, said “goodbye,” and whistled at her outside out of the store. This news got back to her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, who kidnapped Till on August 28 (around 2:00 am), took him to a shed and proceeded to beat/torture him; Till’s body was later found floating in the Tallahatchie River three days later. The testimonies, protests, verdict, and all-around global outrage that followed ended up igniting a flame under The Civil Rights Movement.
I was already familiar with Emmett Till’s story prior to reading this book, but the details listed about this case shook me to my core; especially those grim moments the night of the kidnapping at Mose and Elizabeth Wright’s home. What I found so disheartening was the level of helplessness that many blacks felt (and still feel) in regards to race relations and the justice department. As much fighting that’s taken place throughout this country’s history, not much has changed. And that shatters the myth about being a “united” America.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who, like me, is a student of Black American History. Although this was tough to read through, it was a page-turner, nonetheless.
Until Next Time…