AUGUST 28, 1955 - Money, Mississippi Tallahatchie River
(This is the only piece in the Soundless Series that makes sound. A wolf-whistle can be heard coming from the speakers every 67- minutes)
Emmett Louis Till was a 14-year-old black boy murdered in Mississippi after reportedly flirting with a white woman.
Till was from Chicago, Illinois, visiting his relatives in Money, Mississippi when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband, Roy, and his half-brother, J. W. Milam, arrived at Till’s great-uncle’s house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later.
On September 23, 1955 the jury acquitted both defendants after a 67-minute deliberation; one juror said, “If we hadn’t stopped to drink pop, it wouldn’t have taken that long.”