On August 28, 1955, Chicago teen Emmett Till was kidnapped and lynched for whistling at a white woman in the segregated South while visiting his family in Money, Miss.
Emmett’s younger cousin, Simeon Wright, watched as two men abducted the boy. Those responsible were never convicted.
Decades later, Wright told CBN News he’s grown to forgive them – with God’s help.
Remembering 55 Years Ago
“At the age of 12, imagine going to sleep at night and waking up the next day and your whole world is upside down,” Simeon Wright said, recalling the death of his cousin.
The boys were asleep in the same room when J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant showed up at the Wright family’s home at 2:30 a.m.
“When they awakened Wheeler (another visiting cousin), they said ‘This is the wrong boy. We are looking for the fat boy from Chicago,'” Wright recalled. “They knew who they were looking for. At that time, I weighed about 90 pounds. And Emmett weighed about 140.”
Bryant owned the country store where Emmett, Simeon, and Wheeler Parker stopped to buy candy a few days earlier.
“Emmett and I, we had walked out. We were in the store together; we had walked out of the store. Mrs. Bryant came out behind us and she was walking towards her car and Emmett whistled at her and it scared us half to death,” Wright said.
The whistle at Carolyn Bryant, Roy Bryant’s wife, was a joke to the 14-year-old from Chicago. Emmett was always trying to make his cousins laugh. But he also did not understand the unspoken rules of the segregated south during the Jim Crow era.
“Color didn’t mean anything to him,” Wright explained. “You are a human being. We are all the same. So he grew up like that.”
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SOURCE: CBN News