Marker honoring Emmett Till rededicated Tuesday

Photo: Allan Hammons/CNN Wire

JACKSON, Miss — The Mississippi marker honoring Emmett Till was rededicated Tuesday after it was vandalized earlier this summer.

“Repairing the Emmett Till marker on the Mississippi Freedom Trail quickly was our top priority,” said Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray. “By restoring this piece of Till’s legacy on what would have been his 76th birthday, we continue to recognize the sacrifices made in the struggle for civil rights.”

The ceremony took place in Greenwood, Mississippi outside Bryant’s Grocery, the place where the 14-year-old was accused of whistling at a white woman back in 1955.

Till was later kidnapped and murdered.

Two men were arrested in the case, but were acquitted by a Mississippi jury that same year.

Till’s death, and the decision of his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, to show her son’s beaten body in an open casket, was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

A marker dedicated to the teen was erected in 2011 as part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail.

Tuesday’s rededication stemmed from two separate vandalism incidents over the summer during which someone scratched the marker and another peeled off the back where photos and writings about Till were displayed.

But organizers said that hate will not win out.

“Love has more power than hate,” said Dr. Leslie-Burl McLemore, member of the Mississippi Freedom Trail Task Force and professor emeritus at Jackson State University.

“The quest for freedom will always move forward thanks to the good people, black and white, in Mississippi in spite of what has happened. People who persist in love, freedom and good will prevail in the long term.”