Memorial Destroyed by Racists’ Bullets will Not Deter those Dedicated to Preserve History and Fight for Justice

Emmett Till sign is a pink sign made of metal that has been shot through with numerous bullet holes.
A sign of the times. Memorial to the murder of Emmet Till was recently destroyed by gunfire. Photo: Humanities Kansas

Sylvia Barnett brought to my attention that a memorial sign in Mississippi, which marks the place where the 14-year-old’s mutilated body of Emmett Till was found in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, in 1955 was riddled with bullet holes.

According to the Washington Post, a new bulletproof sign has been erected to mark the location of one of America’s greatest sins-racism.

Readers of this post will recall that Emmett Till was murdered in 1955 by racist while visiting relatives in Mississippi.

According to the Washington Post October 20, 2019, published an article that read in part:

“It took 50 years to get the first memorial to Till erected in Tallahatchie County, the site of the lynching that helped spark the civil rights movement”.

The new marker is the fourth marker that has been installed at that site. The original marker was stolen and never recovered.

Many Anapolitans will remember that this is the same thing that happened to the original Kunta Kinte Memorial plaque in Annapolis, Maryland it too was stolen and never recovered.

On Friday, November 1, 2019, President Donald J. Trump visited Tupelo, Mississippi in support of Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, the Republican nominee for governor.

He never once mentioned the vandalism of the Emmett Till sign nor the rabid history of racism of that state.

His “make America great” speech was devoiced of unifying language.

It was a “us versus them” speech with a number of references about former President Obama to remind his audience that he was one of “them”.

In real-time, we are witnessing another reconstruction era emerging in American politics.

Every now and then people need a “wake up” call, a reminder.

Having seen the movie “Harriet” this weekend coupled with last month’s on-going efforts in Mississippi to obliterate and eviscerate a people’s legacy, I am more convinced than ever, oppression breeds resistance.

Today, I want to thank two people.

Janice Hayes-Williams for reminding us in Anne Arundel County, Maryland of the importance of knowing our history and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman in helping us confront that history.

Truth crushed to the earth will rise again and no lie can live forever as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr reminded the nation over and over again.

Carl Snowden leads the African American Caucus in Anne Arundel County. He is a life-long activist and columnist for the Capital Newspaper and The Arundel Patriot.

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Carl Snowden and Associates were founded in 1985. It is a private consultant firm that specializes in addressing bias and institutional racism. Its founder Carl Snowden and the company have been featured in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and the Baltimore Sun. The company working with the ACLU in Maryland have won cases involving voting rights, employment discrimination and sexual harassment.