Then came a third, which was hit with more bullets.
Now, there’s a fourth sign, this one made of steel. It’s over an inch thick, and, the manufacturer says, it’s bulletproof.
The dedication of the new sign opened old wounds for his cousins, including Ollie Gordon, 71, and her daughter, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, 50. They travelled to Mississippi from Chicago, Emmett’s hometown, for the ceremony.
“What they did to Emmett was so ugly that even the Tallahatchie River spewed his body back out so he could be seen and found,” Gordon-Taylor said Sunday. She runs the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, named after Emmett’s mother.
“Vandalism is a hate crime,” she said. “Basically my family is still being confronted with a hate crime against Emmett Till and it’s almost 65 years later.”
Gordon was seven years old when her cousin was killed after Carolyn Bryant Donham, a white woman, said the teenager had grabbed her and wolf-whistled at her. In 2017, she told a historian that her allegations against Emmett were false.
Ceremonies like the one Saturday provide the family with a sense of gratification, Gordon-Taylor said.
“OK, you want to shoot it down? We’re going to put it right back up,” she said. “You’re never going to forget about Emmett Till and that he was here. Our family has never received judicial justice from the state of Mississippi for Emmett’s murder, so, in some form, this is us saying, ‘Until you do right by us, basically, you’re never going to forget.'”