Statement | July 26, 2019

National Trust Condemns Vandalism of Emmett Till Sign at Graball Landing

Following the publishing of a ProPublica piece this week, the National Trust for Historic Preservation issued the following statement concerning its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund grantee—the Emmett Till Memorial Commission.

“This heinous act in Mississippi underscores the critical need to tell painful stories like the life and death of Emmett Till. We must remain undaunted in the face of such reprehensible acts of racism by pushing forward with a more honest accounting of our nation’s history.

“That is one of the many reasons why we created the multi-million dollar African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund: to celebrate the achievements and activism of all our citizens, including those who have too often been overlooked, marginalized, and suppressed with violence and intimidation.

“Today, two days after what would have been his 78th birthday, we stand with our partners at the Emmett Till Memorial Commission in condemning this vile act and in committing to honor the struggle and strength of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie. We owe it to his memory to continue to grapple with the legacy of racism in this country.”

Since it’s installation in 2007, this sign, marking the spot where Emmett Till’s body was recovered after his brutal 1955 murder, has been the target of several reprehensible acts of vandalism.

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
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