Nearly $20,000 has been raised so far to replace a bullet-riddled historical sign for Emmett Till, the Chicago teenager whose 1955 slaying helped propel the civil rights movement — 10 times what it will cost to replace the sign.
Since the Emmett Till Memorial Commission put up eight markers in Tallahatchie County in 2008, the sign near Tallahatchie River (where Till’s body was found) has been a repeated target of vandals.
The response has astounded Patrick Weems, director of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Miss., where people are making their online donations. “In doing this work for 10 years and now seeing this outpouring from people who want to see Emmett Till’s memory sustained, that is incredible.”
He said the sign will cost between $1,400 and $2,000 to replace.
The extra donations will be used to commemorate Till in other ways, he said. “It’s always been a dream of ours to create a permanent site by the river so people could pray or be mindful.”
He said the Fannie Lou Hamer Park in Ruleville might be an example of what could be done. There has also been talk of a statue.
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