Remembering Emmett Till | 7


<music> imagine it's august twenty eighth nineteen sixty three and you are in the nation's capital. You are joined by two hundred fifty thousand people here on this day to be a part of history. You're used to crowd you happen to be a professional basketball player but this is something else you had no idea it would be this big of an event win on a whim you borrowed a car and drove to dc last night. When you arrive you got out and walked around picked out the perfect spot from which to view the event and organiz responded responded you sized you up and then asked if you'd volunteer to help with security the next day you said shore and he told you to return at nine a._m. And here it it is nine a._m. The next morning it's loud and hot dense crowds on every side the organizer from the night before shouts and waves you over your man here take this. This is your credential. Keep it on you at all times and put this on the event organizer hand a little white cap. We need all of our security people to where these okay this way and we need you by the podium. You joined the rest of the security team and look how upon the sea of faces that look just like yours. I surround the reflecting pool chines brilliantly in the sun. It is a site beyond anything. Your parents or grandparents could have ever imagined you have stepped into a dream you. You've stepped into history. Dr martin luther king approaches. The microphone were mere feet behind him. When he begins the speech he speaks of the path of racial justice and the fierce urgency of now suddenly in the crowd a woman shouts. Tell them about the dream. Martin king gazes forward the notes in his hand seemingly forgotten whenever he's about to say he didn't write it down now. He knows this part. He feels this part. He tells everyone all two hundred and fifty thousand of them that he has a dream. When the speech ends the response from the crowd overwhelmed wells you kings steps away from the microphone and a nearby man commends him on another great speech but something inside tells you that this is not just another great speech impulsively you walk forward. You barely even comprehend what you're doing but you know you must do it. He watches king accepts more congratulations. You see he's holding in the pages of the speeches script and his left hand the words tumble out of you dr king. Can i have that speak. King offers you a humble smile. He appears flattered that you would even ask without a word. He simply handed over three sheets of paper single space type. He's about to say something to you but in an instant and he's whisked away by another wellwisher you stare down at the speech doesn't have a title but you suspect it will soon you will hold onto these pages for the rest of your life in your heart. You know that today's words will never be forgotten that one day dr king's dream will be realized american history tellers is sponsored by chase well. The search is over. It's been a rough road. The two of you been looking for months getting a bit desperate with a baby on the way but now you found this could be your new home. Your family's new home. Your agent is lining things up on the phone with an offer you open empty cabinets and closet doors not really sure what you're looking for so much to think about inspectors paperwork title companies and a mortgage but that you have covered you've been smart art went with chase you know the last few years have been a seller's market and that it's important for buyers to be taken seriously chases. Closing guarantee is one way to stand out as a chase customer. You'll close quickly or you'll get one thousand dollars getting your first home. Even faster with chase were more a chase dot com slash tellers colors chase make more of what's yours all home. Lending products are subject to credit and property provoked rates. Program terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Not all products are available in all states. Go for all amounts other restrictions and limitations apply home lending products offered by a._p. Morgan chase bank a an equal housing lender from wondering i'm lindsey graham and this is american history tellers our history your story <music> more than two hundred fifty thousand people attended the march on washington for jobs and freedom fifty six years ago today august twenty eighth nineteen sixty three. It was there that martin luther king delivered his a conic. I have a dream speech from the steps of the lincoln memorial auriol where he looked out on the crowd to proclaim the event the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. One of the attendees that day was george raveling a former basketball player who by chance ended up working security at the march raveling was just a few feet away from dr king during his speech and after it was all over king handed raveling his original typewritten pages with a smile george raveling still owns those pages and he says he has no intention of letting them go king king speech is largely considered the marquee moment of the civil rights movement and will forever be an integral part of united states history but just eight years before that on the very same day another seminal moment in the civil rights movement occurred it was the murder of emmett till till was a fourteen year old boy from chicago who was kidnapped snapped tortured and murdered by two white men on august twenty eighth nineteen fifty five while visiting family in money mississippi. His killers were never brought to justice but but his death galvanized the nascent civil rights movement. Our guest today is davis. How he's a professor of rhetorical studies at florida state university this month he launched an app app called the emmett till memory project it uses g._p._s. historical documents and photos to illustrate a significant american tragedy a tragedy that occurred on a date change the course of history not once but twice. Here's our conversation davis. How thank thank you for joining me on american history tellers. Thanks for having me today now. You were i interested in the story of emmett till when you're undergraduate and you've spent a fair portion of your career career on it. It is obviously important story in a turning point in the civil rights movement but why is it important for you. Why have you dedicated so much of your time and career to to it. When i was teaching at florida state back in two thousand three i was teaching racing rhetoric course and we reading a book called local people by john dittmer and i made the mistake in the small seminar of asking my students if i could arrange a field trip to mississippi who would be interested in going and everybody put their hands up and at that the point i was sort of committed to doing this project and i won't go into great detail but we we went tennis and one of the stops that we were able all to negotiate with the folks doing the tour was the bryant grocery and meat market which was just <hes> just a shell of a building in money mississippi but it's still there and being that close to ground zero of civil rights history was was moving all of us that was two thousand three and and that point i was i was just curious to know more <hes> i had heard the big broad contour story of emmett till but i didn't know the particulars and so seeing that store up close elicited my curiosity and <hes> that began a pretty active investigation into the case <hes> where i spent a lot of time initially lindsay was that the mississippi department of archives and history. I was very interested to see how the mississippi press the white press mississippi reacted to the kidnapping and murder and so in jackson. There's a great archived there with all the <hes> newspaper coverage and that was the the jumping off point for my first major project on the till case called <hes> <hes> emmett till and the mississippi press when you mentioned the bryant store as a kind of nexus for your interest in this episode of course i think the store run by roy bryant who with his brother in law j w milem were the instigators of this event. Can you tell a little bit about them and their trial sure <hes> yeah so roy bryant and j w milem were initially arrested. Roy bryant was arrested august twenty eighth not long after they had murdered emmett till the body had not turned up yet in j. W milem was arrested the following day august twenty ninth. They were both initially arrested on kidnapping charges because like i said the body audie had not turned up on august thirty first they find a body in the tallahassee river in it's so decomposed and hideously deformed that the only way moses right emmett till's great uncle could identify the corpse was through a ring on his finger at that point. The body was shipped back to chicago. The charges were upgraded to murder order a grand jury <hes> issued indictments for murder on september sixth. <hes> shockingly has just does not work this way now. <hes> the trial was held on september nineteenth at lasted five days and on september twenty third and just a little over an hour of deliberations rations the jury acquitted milem bryant in terms of who testified <hes> for the prosecution moses right testified again emmett's great uncle and there's an iconic picture that was kind of the picture was not supposed to be taken but one of the black photographers in the courtroom snuck a picture in its where moses writes stands up and points at j w milem on his attorney asks him you know who had who had come to the to his house on the twenty eighth to to take him out of it. There were several people who testified for the prosecution including mamie till emmett mom who was able to identify the yes. This corpse was her son. <hes> <hes> the defense put on a very very brief <hes> defense the the two men never testified of course carolyn bryant did testify but her her testimony was not allowed to be heard by the jurors but one of the key people to testify on the defenses half was the tallahassee county sheriff by the name of <hes> clarence aren't strider and strider testified under oath that the body that had come out of tallahassee river had been in that river at least two weeks maybe longer and he couldn't even intel it was so decomposed that he couldn't even tell the race of the person of course if you go back to the newspaper accounts as i did <hes> the day the body body was discovered he was there on the riverbanks he claimed at that point that the body looked like it might have been in the river two or three days and so he he had changed his testimony dramatically mattingly over the course of those two weeks and he was testifying on the defense's behalf false accounts or perhaps the heart of the story because just after that trial bryant and my own story was reported in look magazine and that's pretty much the basis of america's understanding of the event the time but what was the fact and fiction in that account well this gets to the crux of the matter because <hes> william bradford huey who's very famous journalist at the time paid milem brian a little over three thousand dollars. The the attorneys also got some money to <hes> essentially confess. What really happened in order to do this story in my colleague. Dave tell has done a marvelous job on tracking the story down through the huey papers at ohio state. University huey was made trying to make sure look magazine himself. We're not going to get sued and so they were trying to get all parties involved in this case to sign releases essentially granting him permission to tell the story and they weren't going to sue him for liable or whatever and and it turns out he was only able to get a couple of releases <hes> roy brian and j w milem most notably and so what we ended up getting <hes> huey ends up telling this fabulous tale <hes> from from primarily g._w. Mile point of view of this incredibly boastful <hes> amatil who stands up to them is unafraid of them and up till the time the jada milem supposedly shoots in on the bank of tallahassee river. You know we have a boastful. Oh emmett till bragging about being with white women and sex with white women. It's all a bunch allies and we know it's a bunch of lives now <hes> but this hit the newsstands ends on in look magazine huge circulation magazine in january nineteen fifty six and immediately is is the most story talked about for weeks <hes> <hes> in our country and a lot of people in mississippi in particular a lot of white people in mississippi in particular grew up with this version of the story the version of the story that has emmett till being for all intents and purposes a rapist and was it simply that this was a mainstream publication with a large mostly white audience that this is the story persisted rather than perhaps the the true one exactly and there was a counter story and as we know now that that story was largely true told by james hicks and other other black journalists who had investigated the case more carefully and told a vastly different story but it was a story that weight america's simply didn't hear because james hicks was writing for black publications the baltimore afro american the cleveland colin post <hes> the famous postmortem of till is shown in jet magazine and so there was a small small contingent of black press in sumner mississippi gathered there for the trial and what's so interesting is right smack in the middle of the trial the black press largely <hes> in james hicks marvelous job telling the story <hes> they in the middle of the night go find five witnesses to the actual beating of emmett till and so the white preston touch the story they didn't really tell the story the huey supposed confession and because it was marketed confession so many people took it as the truth and again it simply wasn't <hes> it was a series of lies to protect j w roy brian's friends from further prosecution but the people who really got the story almost dead on wor was the black press well. Let's take a moment then and run through a condensed condensed version of the real story. What happened <hes> on that day. August twenty eighth on august twenty eighth <hes> emmett in his cousins with backup to the the twenty seventh which was a saturday they had gone into greenwood and had a night of fun <hes> as a group of cousins on summer break with do they drive back dak late saturday night going sunday morning back to the right residents which is about <hes> twelve miles north of greenwood in money and they get back due to the right residence <hes> go to bed and moses right testify is about two or two thirty he hears two men at the door asking the boy who had done the talking down at money and at that point the two men walk into the house right did not invite them into the house they just kind of burst into the house with their they're forty five handguns and flashlights <hes> and start going from room to room and eventually they find it and they pull him out of bed and he gets dressed and <hes> as they're leaving elizabeth right moses writes wife <hes> is begging them in if money will pay you money. Please don't take him they. They know what incredible danger is at this point and <hes> as they leave the house j._d. Milem turns to moses right and says <hes> something to the effect of preacher if <hes> if you want he asked him how old he is and preacher says <hes> sixty four and he says well if you want to see if you wanna make it to sixty five. You're not gonna tell anybody about what we're doing here off. They go they get into. We're not sure if it's a car or a truck and moses right testifies at the trial later that he heard somebody say is this the boy and moses right testifies and i think these are exactly his words in voice lighter than a man's <hes>. The person person says yes that's him. Is that carolyn bryant. That's the speculation because she could i._d. The boy she could i._d. She could identify amit and off. They went back towards money with the lights off and that's the last point at which moses right saw his great nephew what's interesting to me is a historian orient the case because we really just don't know i don't know that we ever will know this was about two thirty in the morning on sunday august twenty eighth the next i witnessed that we we have seen the men and emmett till is about six or six thirty in the morning forty miles away just outside the town of drew mississippi and we know this is good testimony tony because willie reed actually testified at the trial and would testify to his dying day that he had seen until on the back of a pickup truck with with two or three black men holding him in the back of this pickup truck <hes> several whiteman driving the pickup truck including j w mile roy bryant and they were going to they stirred up on the the plantation was called a stir on plantation owned by the sturt avante family and the reason they were out there was because they had a half brother by the name of leslie milem silom who managed that plantation and so they clearly wanted to beat and torture and eventually kill emmett till away from a crowd they didn't they didn't want to draw attention attention to themselves and willie reed just happened to be walking down the street that early that sunday morning <hes> when he saw this green and white chevy pickup truck with emmett till on the back of it and later he heard the beating the beating happened in a in a small seed barn on this plantation and he told some other people about it 'cause they a several people heard this awful beating happening in the shed later he saw a pickup truck back up to the shed in probably at that point put in emmett's body over tarp and this is probably about seven o'clock so the sun is up <hes> and they got to do something with this body and so again for me as a historian. I'm interested in okay from to thirty the time they took. 'em it for money until about six or six thirty up near drew what was happening in those three or four hours what was going on and the best we can guess is is that milem and bryant were getting together their people they were going to make something of an event of this and it took a while for that to unfold <hes> <hes> pre cell phone pre anything bryant's had a phone in the store so <hes> but it's it's one of the mystery still that we just don't know and and the awful fool terror that emmett no doubt experienced in those four hours 'cause <hes> he probably knew at that point that his life was engraved dangerous american history tellers sponsored by quip summer's over the vacation's done. The kids are back in school. 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Many many african american men had been murdered by white supremacists before but what what about murder push civil rights leaders to act whether it was a couple of things <hes> i think one is you know him. It was a child who's fourteen <hes> perhaps more importantly he he was from chicago and his mother had friends and family who were pretty well connected with the a._c._p. In chicago and it immediately it became a story in the chicago. Defender probably the nation's largest black newspaper and so the story unlike a lot of <hes> young mississippi black men who mysteriously go missing <hes> this one didn't happen quite that way because it was not a mississippi boy he was from chicago and his mom immediately <hes> <hes> activated her network of people and people began writing about this case so it went from a and you can see it happened in the mississippi press it goes from being this very local story <hes> told him the greenwood commonwealth and other newspapers to quite literally exploding within a week after his body is discovered one of the trip wires <hes> to make the story a national one occurred on september first so literally the day after the body is discovered roy wilkins. Who's the head of the end of lacey eighteen nationally comes out and all but accuses every mississippi in a being a child killer and just very inflammatory statement and he should in hindsight he shouldn't have set and of course the the white mississippi press took wilkins's comments and ran with them and in that case you you can see a pivot almost overnight in terms of how the press treated this case especially in mississippi. It went from being a case about. Can you believe what these two white men did too much more of a national focus us and let's watch and see how northern black people are coming to attack southern white people so it becomes this big big case about about race immediately and roy wilkins really was one of the people who ignited that case so emmett till's murder was the moment when the civil rights movement became the movement. We we know it gained its momentum. Why is that so. There's a couple of explanations for listen. They're really really interesting lindsay. The first is <hes> so the keep in mind when the until cases happening in august and september in november of nineteen fifty five on december first a seamstress over in montgomery alabama refuses to give up her bus seat in we know her of course as rosa parks and rosa parks many many years later not in nineteen fifty five and not a nineteen sixty five but really end of the nineteen nineties she came out very publicly and said when i stayed seated on a montgomery bus i was thinking of emmett till and so what this did immediately really was drew a pretty direct line from emmett till's kidnap and murder and the injustice from it directly to her act of resistance and we know from her active resistance we can draw a straight line to the montgomery boycott bus boycott and a really direct line for at that point to dr martin luther king and so you see what's happening here. We're we're we're were stitching together. Civil rights history were going directly from money mississippi to montgomery and the rise of dr king and so that's a that's a very powerful <hes> and compelling case that a lot of people are making about amatil being the catalyst for the movement. I would argue. There's two other things going on here that don't get a lot of airtime needs more airtime but in one thousand nine hundred sixty in february of nineteen sixty in greensboro north carolina we know that four freshman from north carolina a and t sat in at a woolworth's counter her <hes> and were arrested and shortly thereafter this movement of eighteen and nineteen and twenty year old black college kids across the deep south it just happened and overnight it it it was <hes> it was on college campuses and communities all over the deep south of the sit in movement and what we tend to forget add about this generation of eighteen and nineteen and twenty year olds as they were there emmett's generation they were fourteen and fifteen when emmett was murdered and and their parents subscribe to jet magazine and so what came out of this movement is the student on violent coordinating committee is formed literally in april of nineteen sixty by ella baker and a lot of snow kids would later say what got me into the movement was seeing those horrific images of emmett till there's a third sense in in which emmett till i think could be argued as a catalyst for the movement and it wasn't until recently that i heard this interview but the main organizer for the student a nonviolent coordinating committee in greenwood very close to money was a fellow by the name of sam block and <hes> josephson shurmur who was an undergraduate at duke when these interviews interviews were done back in the eighties interviewed block and block. Is this fascinating interview. Where for the first time i heard that the reason he was able to organize greenwood in sixty two and sixty three is people were still mad about the till case and snick moves its headquarters greenwood in the early sixties such as the the fervor there to organize and so i think <hes> from rosa parks <hes> from the snick generation which is really the emmett till generation and locals in greenwood wanting to organize because they're still angry about the till case. I think that's how emmett till matters. In terms of catalyzing what became the movement there was another moment that proved pivotal and that was till's mother's decision to hold an open casket funeral and then the photo that was published in jet magazine. What did this her decision do well it it it immediately. Media radicalized a generation of black parents and black children as what it did because it a lot of people think oh that that photo just circulated in jet magazine zine and while jet was kind of the premier publication of black america nineteen fifty five that also ran in black newspapers around the country. My colleagues and i have have collected a lot of these papers. Just kinda see where that photograph and there's a couple of photographs. There's not just one or did those gruesome photographs run and they ran all the way from from washington d._c. All the way out west to los angeles white america did not see those photographs <hes> to this day <hes> you can find him of course online but white america did not grow up with those images amatil <hes> after they fished him out of the river and so what happened was <hes> blacks in chicago lined up to bear witness this <hes> she she not only let the black press come in and photograph the corpse but she at that point said i'm going to have an open casket funeral and we're going to have two days two full days of showing this body to whoever wants to see it in so chicago turned out for it. <hes> the estimates are upwards of fifty to one hundred thousand people which is hard had to imagine but you see my point. Black chicago turned out to look at this monstrosity that had come back from mississippi so tell me about your app one of the places you highlight. What's what's the user experience the way the app works is it's based on a map in eighteen locations and so you oh using your your smartphone are going to see these eighteen sites and you can kind of customize the experience in in terms of where you want to start so let's say you wanna start at the bryant grocery store in in money. Where can you go from there. That's nearby well. The apps going to tell you the closest says place nearby is the right house which is about three miles away and then when you're at the right house <hes> the place that's gonna show up. Next is the church which is just down the street where they were going to goes right preached but also where they were going to bury. 'em it and so what you're going to see on your phone is you're gonna see some pictures <hes> some recent pictures of the site but you're also we're going to see some pictures from nineteen fifty five and then you're also if you wanna pull it up. You're going to get kind of narrative experience of why the site is significant and what we wanted to do was so each site has about five hundred to eight hundred word essay that that kind of complicates things that gives you the basic history but but will also we also didn't want to oversimplify. We wanted to kind of let viewers have their own experience and kind of say okay so <hes> historian say. They say they say you see. We don't know exactly how this all played out but the point is here. The different versions of history <hes> that we're going to support at this particular particular site in fact here are the archival documents that florida state university has in our emmett till archive that support these different interpretations here are some photographs of people involved in the case we were. We're trying to tell a complicated story. We're not we're not trying to make this real simple so i'm interested if you've heard from any users at the app on their pilgrimage through the emmett till story one is their emotional experience for why are they drawn to this event in history yeah lindsey we we really haven't had the feedback yet because the the app just went live not too long ago literally weeks ago <hes> so we really haven't had a lot of of user experience with the app yet but <hes> but i can tell you having been at these sites countless times over the years. It's just your when especially let's start again back at the bryant store arguably lee you are at ground zero of american civil rights history in this in this nowhere place in the middle of the delta and <hes> you are literally standing on the porch were emmett stood food and whistled at carolyn bryant and then you're standing in the cemetery where emmett's body was initially buried. We can talk about that later why he was going to be buried. There wasn't so it's it's just the proximity to history <hes> as my students have experienced it through the years. I took a class <hes> there. In two thousand seventeen most recently took ah eleven and my students to the delta and <hes> it's just a different experience. It's <hes> it's not reading a book. It's <hes> it's walking emmett's footsteps. It's walking in the killer's. Footsteps stops it seeing where the killers are buried. It's walking on a local plantation. It is wandering in the cemetery. It's <hes> that proximity just changes the experience employment american history tellers is sponsored by mail chimp. So you want want to grow your business. 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Today and mail chimp will be there to help as your business grows and needs new capabilities so if you want to grow your business you're wondering now what mail chimp that's what learn more at mail chimp dot com <music> so you mentioned that emmett was intended to be buried in a cemetery there in mississippi but that it was not what's the story there. The body was so awfully decomposed posed that the family wanted to get it in the ground. Immediately and preparations were made at the east money church of god in christ east to where we're again. Moses wright was a preacher up until nineteen forty nine. There was a little cemetery there and a grave had been dug. They were going to have the service in the afternoon afternoon of the thirty first the same day as body came out of the river and somehow some way mamie till got wind of this and again the communications were really really hard because so many people in mississippi simply didn't have a phone <hes> but crosby smith who was moses writes brother-in-law in lived up in sumner about twenty twenty miles away shows up with a deputy sheriff at kind of the last hour before the body's getting ready to be buried and says this body is not being buried here in money mississippi today. It's actually going north to chicago. It's going home and so maybe till was again. You know the many many of her heroic acts. This was kind of one of the first ones which is to say no no no. I wanna see that body. The bodies coming back and soak crosby smith who for me is one of the unspoken heroes of the case for what he did for the family and in an as soon as emmett was kidnapped <hes> at two thirty in the morning <hes> the first thing moses right in elizabeth a threat did was they drove up to sumner to figure out with crosby smith. What should they do. Should they go to the police because jay w mile already threaten britain moses rights life. What should we do our you know our kids now missing and so- crosby smith <hes> with is just kind of a heroic brave figuring all of this but he shows up with a deputy sheriff and says note the body's going back to chicago and in fact if i have to take the body myself back to chicago. I'm going to do it because that's what i promised mamie till so at that point the body <hes> it. It's it's eventually embalmed and <hes> is put on a train and arrives back back <hes> in chicago on the second and of course <hes> just not to find a point on it but with without that body coming north. We probably probably don't know this story emmett. Till's death was sixty four years ago but he's obviously still a potent symbol of african american civil rights today and unfortunately just last month <hes> in the news again when three white students from the university of mississippi pose with with guns next to a bullet riddled old sign honoring till this kind of animism has happened before what is the response in the community in mississippi and across the country that this still still goes on while the response has been a lot of outrage a lot of i can't believe the still happening in two thousand and nineteen nineteen but on the ole miss campus when jerry mitchell broke that story he later interviewed some ole miss students and <hes> they didn't know who emmett till was. They didn't know why the story matter. They didn't know why those three frat brothers posing in front of a sign with guns. John's was a big issue. I think having not interviewed a bunch of white people in mississippi who are hostile to emmett till i do this that having talked to do a lot of white. Mississippians is white mississippians and black mississippians. Do not share the same history of who emmett till was and what he did and so i think a lot of white mississippians or probably they feel pretty aggrieved that this chicago boys on their landscape forever and they don't like it and they think of him as has a would be rapist of white women and again. That's the william bradford huey narrative. The narrative is still there. <hes> part of what we're trying to do with the app is to change that narrative <hes> but it's gonna take some time and we're not naive about that is that perhaps the reason for the app and your interest in this event that that this story needs to be known even though it was a critical turning point for the civil rights movement. How do we forget the story and then remember it for for nearly thirty years <hes> than aim at emmett till oh was simply it it there was no circulation of the name at all <hes> especially in popular culture in film documentary <hes> the academics weren't talking thing about him at all and so for thirty years kind of there's this void and what begins to change is the <hes> the documentary eyes on the prize <hes> directed and produced by henry hampton. <hes> changes everything. This documentary is shown for the first time on p._b._s. In nineteen eighty seven and the in the first episode called awakenings in this is red readily available online. If your listeners wanna one of you it but very early on in awakenings awakenings <hes> we have about fifteen minutes segment on the till case using lots of archival footage using lots of interviews with moses right using interviews with james hicks so telling the black presses point of view on this and it's a fascinating fifteen minutes and this is one thousand nine hundred eighty seven and so this very prominent documentary starts to breathe some life back into the case a couple years later we get our one of our first books by stephen j whitfield at brandeis recently retired called a death in the delta and this takes us into the ninety s and <hes> some filmmakers get interested in the case. One of them is <hes> good friend. Keith beauchamp and keith had promised mamie till until her dying day that he would we get justice for helmet and he does a really terrific documentary that is so good and the interviewing is so powerful that the f._b._i. Gets interested the f. b. I. <hes> reopens its case in two thousand and four and dedicates a lot of resources to trying to get justice for him until <hes> in two thousand seven. There was a grand jury that was convened. They heard the evidence that dale kellinger and the f._b._i. Had collected and they did not issue an indictment statement we know from <hes> the reporting on the case that <hes> killing her in particular had his eyes on carolyn bryant who is one of the very few survivors still alive <hes> in a black man by the name of henry loggins who may have been in the truck that night <hes> but there was no indictment in two thousand seven and so that put the case <hes> the front page news <hes> george w bush signs the emmett till unsolved civil rights bill in two thousand and eight which gives resources of the federal government to <hes> <hes> investigating unsolved civil rights murders so <hes> yeah the groundswell of emmett till interest really really picks up in the nineties and then and really <hes> move forward in the two thousands and here we are today where it seems like whenever young black boys murdered <hes> especially if there's no justice <hes> <hes> emmett till's name starts to circulate right whether it's martin lee anderson here in florida or trayvon martin or jordan davis <hes>. It seems like whenever a young black male is murdered in there's suspicion about that murder in this country the the name emmett till comes up and so we've we need an accurate history of emmett till was in the first place we were. We're getting closer to that but we're still a long way away davis. How thank you for talking to me today lindsey. I appreciate you having me. That was my conversation with florida state university professor davis how you can find wind his app the emmett till memory project on the apple app store or google play. There's also linked to the project's website in the show notes and next on american history tellers long before for the island of manhattan became the dense and bustling metropolis. We know today it was part of a dutch colony with two principals at its core tolerance and capitalism. Those principles helped shape the city of new york but how the dutch came to settle the area and see those ideas is all the result of a massive blunder in our next series on dutch manhattan in hatton. We look back at how legendary explorer henry hudson discovered manhattan and how his decisions altered the course of history and spurred the development of one of the world's greatest cities from wondering this is american history tellers help. You enjoyed this episode. If you did subscribe now on apple podcasts uncast spotify google podcast one dot com or wherever you listen to this right now if you're listening on a smartphone tap or swipe over the cover art of this podcast you find the episode so not including some details you may have missed you'll also find some offers from our sponsors by supporting them. You help us offer this show too for free and if you do like the show we love you to give us a five star rating and leave review. I always love to know your thoughts and reviews are the best way for others to find the show. Tell your friends and family show them how to subscribe you can also find us and me on twitter and facebook follow the show at h. tellers. I'm at lindsey graham. Thank you american history tellers. This hosted edited and produced adduced by me lindsey graham for airship. This episode was produced by lea hernandez and adriaan a cargo jenny. Lower beckmann is editor and producer. Our executive producer is marshall louis. We created by hernan lopez for wondering.

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