Relatives of Emmit Till are at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Jackson, to watch a videotape of Mamie Till Mobley talking about the brutal killing of her son. It was shot during her visit to the church in 2002. She passed away the following year. Reverend P. J. Williams.
"Well she was a powerful woman in order to even speak the years after her son had been killed and thrown in the river," said Williams.
Fourteen year old Emmitt was visiting cousins in Money, Mississippi, when he was taken from their home August 28,1955, for whistling at a white woman in a store. His body was found in the Tallahatchie River with barbed wire and a fan tied around his neck. Mobley said he was shot in the head, an ear was cut off, eyes gouged and a hole was drilled through his head. She demanded an open casket funeral to expose the heinous crime. A cousin, Deborah Watts, came from Minnesota to honor Mobley and Till.
"And so, here we have an opportunity to talk about this, remember and move forward," said Watts.
Relatives have started organizations to promote racial healing and support families who have suffered injustice. Priscilla Sterling of Jackson, heads a foundation to promote reconciliation.
"We've gotta find some common ground to put a away hate, to get God, to bring the forces of good into our lives," said Sterling.
Observances are being held today and tomorrow including a luncheon and candlelight vigil.