Target: William L. Brewer Jr., Sherriff of Tallahatchie County, Mississippi
Goal: Arrest and charge vandals who shot sign commemorating spot where civil rights icon Emmett Till was murdered.
A sign commemorating the rural Mississippi spot where 14-year-old Emmett Till, an African American teenager, was brutally murdered by a gang of white men in 1955 was shot at multiple times and destroyed by bullet holes.
Since his violent death, Till has become a symbol of the civil rights era. A photograph of his open casket, taken during his funeral, shocked Americans across the country when it was published on the cover of newspapers and magazines. Many of those Americans believed themselves to be far removed from the racial violence of the American South. Till’s death forced them to see the senseless cruelty of racism and segregation.
This is not the first time the sign has been vandalized. It had been previously spray-painted, shot at, and stolen. The Emmett Till Interpretative Center is working to replace the sign. However, the person(s) who are responsible for this act of vandalism and hatred must be held accountable for this harmful act of racially-motivated violence.
Dear Sheriff Brewer,
A memorial sign commemorating the life and death of Emmett Till has recently been vandalized. Several gunshots damaged the sign that tells the story of Till, the 14-year-old young man brutally murdered in 1955 by two white men. Since his death, Till has become one of many symbols of the civil rights movement.
Vandalizing his sign with bullet holes is nothing less than racially motivated violence. It disrespects his memory and the memory of all the men and women who fought for equal rights regardless of race. I understand that this is not the first time the sign has been targeted. I ask that when the person or persons responsible for this abhorrent act are discovered, they are arrested and charged. Emmett Till’s memory must live on so that the same horrific past our nation engaged in cannot be repeated.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: 14EmmettTillBefore