Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was a 14-year-old African-American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after a white woman said she was offended by him in her family's grocery store.
The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the United States.
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Although initially local newspapers and law enforcement officials decried the violence against Till and called for justice, they responded to national criticism by defending Mississippians, temporarily giving support to the killers.
In September 1955, Bryant and Milam were acquitted by an all-white jury of Till's kidnapping and murder.
Some writers have suggested that almost every story about Mississippi returns to Till, or the Delta region in which he died, in "some spiritual, homing way." An Emmett Till Memorial Commission was established in the early 21st century.
The Sumner County Courthouse was restored and includes the Emmett Till Interpretive Center.
Till posthumously became an icon of the Civil Rights Movement.