Emmett Till’s statue will reside in Mississippi town near Confederate monument

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A mural featuring a portrait of civil rights icon Emmett Till watches from the facade of an abandoned building as volunteers gather nearby with family members of Tamiko Talbert-Fleming after handing out flyers in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood seeking information about his murder on January 19, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois.

The small town of Greenwood, Mississippi will unveil a nine-foot statue of Emmett Till today while also having a sprawling Confederate monument, reports the Associated Press. It’s over fifty years after two white men kidnapped and lynched the black teenager for whistling a white woman.

Greenwood and Leflore County both have a 70% black population. Officials worked for years to bring Till’s statue to fruition. Democratic State Senator David Jordan of Greenwood secured $150,000 in state funding. The community also commissioned Utah artist Matt Glenn to create the statue. Jordan hopes the statue will increase tourism in Greenwood and teach more about the area’s history.

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“So much has been said about this case,” Jordan said this week. “I hope this brings us all together.”

Till’s statue at Rail Spike Park in Greenwood will be a short drive from an elaborate Confederate monument outside the Leflore County Courthouse. It will also be ten miles from the remains of the store, Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market, where the whistling incident took place.

There’s also a life-size statue of Mamie Till-Mobley, Emmett’s mother, planned for the Chicago suburb of Summit. A grand opening Oct. 28 is scheduled for a spot outside Argo Community High School, where she was an honored student. The statue should be in place at the end of April.

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