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  • Khalil Zeigler

I didn’t want to watch “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till”

His momma cried when she saw the casket. Told the undertaker she wanted to see her son one more time. His momma wanted to see her son, peaceful and sleeping and handsome, but then was denied by the wood.


Then denied by the undertaker. Later denied still by the evil men who took him from her. They brutalized and reshaped the boy’s body, a body that looked like mine at fourteen years old.


No one prepares you to hear the white sheriff talk about how a “N***er in being murder in Mississippi is Mississippi business.” Or about how his mother received hate mail, death threats, and how the children in the crowds pointed toy guns at her as their parents tussled their hair and praised them.


The narrative felt burrowed into my skin. Instinct told me it would be more than just an hour of “Oh, that’s horrible”s and “How could they do that?”.


I didn’t want to watch “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till.” I watched it because times like these, we need to be reminded, George Floyd was not the first. Emmett Till wasn’t first. And if we don’t keep paying attention, if we don’t keep fighting, they won’t be the last.



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