Money in Leflore County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
—Mississippi Freedom Trail —
Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till came to this site to buy candy in August 1955. White shopkeeper Carolyn Bryant accused the black youth of flirting with her, and shortly thereafter, Till was abducted by Bryant's husband and his half brother. Till's tortured body was later found in the Tallahatchie River. The two men were tried and acquitted but later sold their murder confession to Look magazine. Till's death received international attention and is widely credited with sparking the American Civil Rights Movement.
Placed during the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides - 1961-2011
Bryant Grocery and Meat Market On August 21, 1955, Emmett Till and his cousin, Wheeler Parker, both from the Chicago area, arrived in Money for a short vacation visit with their great-uncle, Moses "Mose" Wright. Three days later, Emmett Till and his cousins came to this site, then Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market, to purchase candy. Till was fourteen years old. Although the boys had been warned not to test the Jim Crow code, Till may have whistled at or otherwise offended Carolyn Bryant, the young white store attendant. On August 28 at around 2:30 in the morning, store owner Roy Bryant, Carolyn's husband, and his half brother, J.W. Milam, kidnapped Till from his great-uncle's home three miles east of Money. According to the FBI, they brought him back to this store before driving him to the Shurden Plantation in Sunflower County where he was beaten and shot with a .45 caliber pistol. His murderers secured a 75-pound gin fan to his neck with barbed wire and dropped his body into the Tallahatchie River. The next day, Milam and Bryant were arrested on charges of kidnapping.
Emmett Till's mother, Mamie Till, insisted that her son's body be returned to Chicago for an open-casket funeral. Milam and Bryant were indicted on September 6 by a grand jury for kidnapping and murder of Till. The trial began on September 19 in Sumner, Mississippi. Sharecropper Moses Wright dramatically identified Milam and Bryant as the kidnappers, and Mamie Till testified that the body was that of her son. On September 23, a jury of twelve white men acquitted both defendants after deliberating only sixty-seven minutes. They would have taken less time, according to one jury member, if they had not stopped to drink sodas. In January 1956, Look magazine published an interview with Milam and Bryant in which both confessed to having murdered Emmett Till. The two were never retried because of constitutional law regarding double jeopardy.
News of the murder and the trial that followed outraged black and sympathetic white Americans, and the case became a catalyst for the American civil rights movement. One hundred days after the last day of the trial of Till's murderers, on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give her seat to a white man on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, precipitating the Montgomery bus boycott. When asked why she did not go to the back of the bus after being threatened with arrest, she said she thought of Emmett Till, and she couldn't go back.
Erected 2011 by the Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division. (Marker Number 1.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Freedom Trail marker series.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Money Road, Greenwood MS 38930, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Robert Johnson (approx. 6.2 miles away); Guitar Slim (approx. 6.7 miles away); Bobbie Gentry (approx. 7.9 miles away); Fort Pemberton Park (approx. 8˝ miles away); Blues Deejays (approx. 9.2 miles away); Greenwood Cotton Row District (approx. 9.2 miles away); Greenwood (approx. 9.2 miles away); Point LeFlore (approx. 9.2 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. YouTube video of the marker dedication. (Submitted on September 24, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. The Emmett Till Murder Trial: An Account. (Submitted on September 24, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
3. Emmett Till Murder. (Submitted on September 24, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
1. Marker vandalized.
For the second time, this marker has been vandalized. First time it was riddled with bullet holes, and now someone has scraped off the vinyl on the marker rear side and removed parts of the text and photos. Repairs have begun for the $8,500 marker. The vandal or vandals that did this are unknown. This marker is located in a very rural area.
— Submitted June 29, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
After being vandalized in June of this year, the marker has been repaired and rededicated July 25th, 2017, on what would have been Emmett Till's 76th birthday. The cost of the repair was $500.00.
— Submitted October 24, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 24, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 644 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 24, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.