Emmett Till Interpretive Center

Mississippi Delta

In 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy from Chicago, was lynched in Mississippi after being accused of flirting with a white woman. An all-white jury acquitted two white men, Roy Bryant and JW Milam, who later confessed. Although lynchings had occurred in the South before, this particular murder galvanized anger like few others and led to the first major wave of the mid-20th-century Civil Rights movement. This small museum, in the courthouse where the trial occurred, offers self-guided tours.

The self-guided tour includes a few displays about the trial and the public response, and the courtroom looks like it did at the time of the trial. A staffer is available to answer questions. If you're part of a larger group, call ahead to schedule a more in-depth tour and possibly a group dialogue about Till's murder. The interpretive center can also recommend third-party tour guides if you're interested in a a highly detailed look at the history.

It is remarkable how raw the wound of the Till murder can still feel in this area; in 2018, a sign that marked the spot where Till's body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River was riddled with bullets.