In front of the Governor’s Mansion in Downtown Jackson, activists called for justice for Emmett Till. It was a brisk spring afternoon, but that didn’t stop people from attending a rally in Downtown Jackson on March 12 for the 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago who was brutally lynched in the Mississippi Delta in 1955.
70 years later, Emmett Till's family still pursuing justice for his lynching
"This is a long journey for us and our family. Mamie Till Mobley started it in 1955. She made sure that she opened the casket, Emmett's casket so everyone could see the kind of injustice and the hate and that kind of terrorism that was taking place in our country," said Deborah Watts, the co-founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation.
Watts is also Till’s cousin. Nearly seven decades later, the Till Foundation is demanding justice. Members of Till’s family, like Priscilla Sterling, say justice means murder charges against Carolyn Bryant Donham, the last known living accomplice in Till’s lynching.
"For the state of Mississippi to actually acknowledge that a white woman would be charged in a crime that she the very one started. They would actually take action and really and truly be held accountable for what they have let slide through history for 67 years," Sterling said.
On March 11, activists delivered a petition with over 400,00 signatures to the office of Attorney General Lynn Fitch. In addition to murder charges, the petition calls for an official apology from the state of Mississippi and local law enforcement to be issued to the Till family. The Department of Justice closed a second investigation into Till’s lynching without federal charges in December 2021. In spite of this, the Till family said the momentum will continue.