I’d heard the name, Emmett Till decades ago and knew it was associated with something awful. It was probably ten years ago that I saw the photographs of his grotesquely beaten face. If you see those photos you will never be able to unsee them. Emmett lived in Chicago with his mother. When he was 14, he took a trip to Mississippi to visit relatives. Not understanding “the way things were”, in a place he’d never been, he foolishly whistled at a white woman in a store. That’s all it took. He was abducted and beaten to death. Emmett’s mother insisted on having an open coffin at her son’s funeral “so people would see what they had done to him.”
James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner knew exactly what they were getting into. Chaney was black and grew up in Meridan, MS. When he was 15, in 1958, he started wearing an NAACP button to school. Gutsy. Schwerner and Goodman were Jewish from NewYork. They were in Mississippi as volunteers to help register black voters. That kind of work was viewed as an affront to the existing white power structure of the state. The three were arrested for a traffic violation by Cecil Price, Klan Member and Deputy Sheriff of Neshoba County, MS. The three were held for several hours then released, followed, abducted and killed. The presence of two white victims from the north made it national news and top priority for the FBI. When the bodies were found it was discovered that the white victims had been shot in the heart while James Chaney, the local black man had been chained to a tree chain whipped, castrated and shot. Chaney was 21 years old at the time.
George Floyd was trying to get by. Continue Reading…….