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Claire

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 3 months ago

Hey! My name is Becky Verber and I am 12 year old middle school student who was a witness of the 1955 murder of Emmett Louis Till. I am here to tell you my story and point of view, but let me tell you this, the Emmett Till Case helped to launch the Civil Rights Movement. three months after the end of the case, Rosa Parks refused to give up a seat to a white person, and this led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the emergence of Martin Luther King JR. The case helped the African Americans to stand up for themselves and finally put a stop to Jim Crow laws.

Becky!" mama exclaimed. Slow it down child!" At the moment I was sitting at the old, dirty, wooden dinner table shoveling my cornbread and cold vegtable soup down my throat. I was eager to roam around outside, hear the crickets calling walk along the dirt roads of Money, Mississippi, and lay in the green grass that the month of August had brought. I was also excited to be leaving my small cottage because my brown eyed, funny, 12 year old best friend Susie Greenhouse had asked me earlier in school if I wanted to come on over and hang out with her and her brave, 14 year old cousin from Chicago named Emmet Till. Emmett was staying with his great uncle Mose Wright and i was ecstatic to get to see him.

Slurp!" Yes! I had finally cleaned my plate! I leaped out of my chair and sprinted to the door. I quickly twisted the knob and sped out the door barely hearing the sound of mama's voice saying "Be Careful!". I was so relieved to be outside I didn't really notice the hot, sticky, humid weather of the night. As I passed the mansions that the white people lived in i found myself wishing that "seperate but equal" had never happened. Everything that the blacks owned or lied in were old, worn down, dity and tiny, but i put it all behind me when I reached the Bryant's Grocery and the Meat Market. I was glad that there were steps in front of the grocery so I could sit. An then I saw him, Emmet Till, the courages, funny jokster I had longed to know. Everyone was just hangin around outside of the stores playing checkers, listening to music and telling stories. Emmett was even joking around with a picture of a white girl saying she was his girlfriend back in Chicago. Then, along came the dare. One of the guys talkin to Emmet spoke up and said " Since you chicago boys think you know all about the white women why dont you go in Bryant's Grocery and ask that pretty white woman on a date." Everyone grew silent. A black boy speaking to a white woman, that was unthinkable! There were so many dangers that could occur. But, Emmet being from a city where segragation did not occur, excepted the offer and not knowing about the severe penalties, got up and without a word walked into the store. Immeadiatley the door to the store was crowded with faces pressed up against the window waiting. As Emmet left the store someone heard him utter a "Bye Baby."

News of the Black boy's crazy stunt was spread around Tallahatchie County in a flash. When the white woman's husband arrived three days later everyone black and white had heard the story. Susie and I began to feel nervous for her cousin and wished the dare had never happened. We had no idea what major event was about to happen in our small county and how it could effect everyone, but the next few days wre scary and unforgettable, and even though I had admired Emmett Till the day before, now i was not so sure. I didnt even know if I was ever going to get to see him again!

Im so bored and dead tired, I thought to myself. It was Monday the 29th of August around 9 am. My mamma was having me wait in the kitchen, so she could tell me something important, usually I read the newspaper in the mornings to find what was happening in town, but mamma warned and advised me not to. I wondered why she was acting so strange and decided that sometimes we are all a little weary and stange at times. "Hey Momma!" " Whats taking so long!" I shouted. The next thing I knew Momma was walking slowly into the kitchen with a sad expression and a teardrop rolling down her face. The story and things she told me were utterly repulsive and scarred me for life! And guess what, it was about my best freinds cousin: Emmett Till.

Momma told me the story, without trying to burst out in tears. Here is what happened:

Emmett Till was staying at his Great Uncles house, Mose Wright. Roy Bryant the husband of the white woman that had been talked to by Emmett, talked to his half brother J.W Milam and decided that they would meet around 2 in the morning and teach the boy a lesson for being disrespectful to his wife. So on Sunday the two men pulled up at Mose Wrights House around 2:30 in the morning. Mose Wright answered the door and Roy Bryant was standing there with a flashlight and a pistol, then woke up Emmett and then escorted him out to the car and threw him in, then drove off into the night. What happened next was, Emmett was beaten severly and then shot. My momma says no body knows for certain where his body is, but the police have already arrested J.W Milam and Roy Bryant in LeFlore County I was completly shocked at the news, I could not believe that last night a boy who had only been here for a short time was now dead. It made me burst out in tears and I threw my arms around my momma so sad that our country was not surronded by equality. This effected me because not only was it a terrible thing thrust uopn Mississippi but also it made me want to go and stand up for myself , and put a stop to the violence and segragation. Three days later, a man out fishing found the body of Emmett Till, who was naked, in the Tallahatchie River.

A week or two after the mens arrest an all white Sumner County jury, surprised everyone when he ordered Bryant and Milam to

stand trial for the murder or Emmett Till. Although the trial only lasted a week, many whites stood up for Emmett and all the other blacks that had been murdered. so, on September 23, 1955, Roy Bryant and J.W Millam were sent free, but that was only because a white man could not be convicted for killing a black man.

That was how it all happened, simple as that, a black boy was murdered for asking a white woman on a date. This all happened so fast it was hard to comprehend and imagine, it was all so depressing. Even now, at 52 years old its hard to tell the story to other people, because fear just takes control of me. I guess now I wish I could go back in time and stop the person that even thought of starting slavery. But, I guess sometimes if you want to get somewhere in life, sometimes there are obstacles and you just have to get through them and conquer your fears.

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