We've got Mississippi on our minds. We traveled to Money, Mississippi, where we stood outside the decaying building that once housed a grocery infamous in American history.
In August, 1955, Emmett Till was a 14 year old boy from Chicago visiting relatives in Money, a small town in the Mississippi Delta. He may have spoken to 21 year old Carole Bryant, the white, married proprietor of the store. If so, that simple act was his death sentence.
Three nights later, Roy Bryant, Carole's husband, and his half brother J.W. Milam, abducted Till. They beat him, mutilated him, shot him and threw his body in the Tallahatchie river. His bloated corpse was found three days later.
Mamie Till-Mobley, Till's mother, held a public funeral in Chicago. His body was displayed in an open casket. The event exposed American racism to the world.
In September 1955, Bryant and Milam were acquitted of Till's kidnapping and murder. Protected from being tried again, they admitted to Look Magazine that they had killed Till. Their justification was that they thought young man had whistled at Carole Bryant.
The crime became a symbol of the failure of the justice system and the murderous terror of white supremacy.
Across the country today, the murder of Emmett Till still resonates, one of many crimes, past and present, that can still instill fear and anger. It brought UW student Davon White and community member Calvin Lyons into conversation.