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Emmett Till museum Interpretive Center

26 Reviews
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Emmett Till museum Interpretive Center

26 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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105 S Court St Sumner Square, Sumner, MS 38957-9722
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Holly R wrote a review Apr 2020
Chapel Hill, North Carolina1,065 contributions258 helpful votes
The New York Times and NPR have both reported on the Emmett Till Interpretative Trail, which is a series of sites linked to the murder of 14 year-old Emmett Till in 1955. The Center, located in Sumner, across from the Courthouse where the trial of the two men responsible for the murder took place, has a small but informative display of news paper accounts and photos from the trial. You can also arrange in advance to meet a member of their team who can discuss the reconciliation work the Center is doing within the community and the mission of the Center. We met with Benjamin, who was both informative and a warm and welcoming person. The Interpretative Trail, which includes the funeral home in Tutwiler, the ruins of Bryant Grocery Store in Money, the Courthouse in Sumner, the area on River Road where TIll's body was found and the shed in Glendora where he was murdered, are all places for contemplation and to bear witness to a history that is still being contested in Mississippi --- and in other parts of the country as well. It was also a way to see rural Mississippi and to get a sense of the distances the men traveled to terrorize this young boy. A lot of hatred. We worked with Jesse, one of the members of the Reconciliation Committee, who went with us to a number of the sites on the Trail. There is a mobile app that you can use, but I found it really helpful to have an informed community person who could both talk about the work at the Center as well as guide us to the various sites, most of which are off the beaten path. You can contact the Center for information on guides -- there is a fee for their time -- but we were glad to have someone with us. The Bryant Grocery Store in Money seems to get the most attention, perhaps because it is the easiest to find. When we got there there was a large tour bus there as well, but we were the only people at the other places we stopped at. The brutal murder of Emmett Till and his mother's efforts to tell the world about it (As someone in 1955 said, Sumner is not America, it is Mississippi) Emmett Till changed that and was an important trigger for the Civil Rights Movement that followed. It is said that when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery street car she was thinking of Emmett Till.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Pittsburgh_cyclist wrote a review Oct 2019
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania485 contributions217 helpful votes
The museum is across the road from the courthouse where Emmett Till’s murderers were acquitted. It’s still disturbing to see the site where such injustice was done.
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Date of experience: November 2019
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Sally N wrote a review Oct 2019
New York City38 contributions64 helpful votes
Visiting this place is a must for all Americans and anybody who is interested in the history of this country. This small but fascinating Interpretive Center across the road from the Sumner Courthouse, tells the story of the shameful travesty of justice that was the trial of the men who abducted, tortured and slaughtered young Emmett Till. But much more than that, the Nonprofit that has stewardship of the site continues the quest for truth, reconciliation and justice in the Sumner community, as well as in greater Mississippi - long considered ground zero in the Civil Rights era and the State that Martin Luther King Jr described as “sweltering in the heat of injustice”. The Center’s mission is to educate, inform and engage people in learning about this terrible event and why the events of summer 1955 still resonate today. If you think that this was all in the past, then consider that volunteer Benjamin told us that many people who visit the Center and the Courthouse, have lived in the area all their lives and have never heard of Emmett Till until relatively recently. Moreover, the marker plaque on the site where Emmett’s body was found in the Tallahatchie river has been regularly defaced and peppered with gunshot. Earlier this year, three white students from Ole Miss posted a picture on social media, depicting them in front of the bullet holes on the plaque, toting guns and grinning for the camera. Many of their friends ‘“liked’ the posts without even knowing who Emmett Till was.The Emmett Till Interpretive Center’s response has been to raise funds for a new, bullet-proof marker - to be dedicated this weekend - and to stage community events to discuss the issue, including one at Ole Miss itself. Some years ago, the Center held an event on the anniversary of Emmett’s murder, whereby the community of Sumner formally apologized to Emmett’s relatives for their failure to protect Emmett, or to bring his killers to justice - a wonderful act of healing and reconciliation. This is a wonderful place with a wonderful mission, deserving of all our attention. The drive out through Delta cotton fields and big skies is awesome.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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MargieWhoTravels wrote a review Jul 2019
Houston, Texas13 contributions1 helpful vote
The horror of Emmett Till’s abduction, torture, and murder is addressed in great detail in this interpretive center. And it’s done using mostly the information that was available at the time. What people actually knew at the time — including how many prospective white jurors were excluded because of their open admissions of racial bigotry, and because many had contributed to the defense costs of the two white men who, after being acquitted, sold their stories about what they’d done to Look Magazine for $4,000. Benjamin was the guide/curator on duty when we visited, and was incredibly well-informed. The photos show where the child’s body was found. Note the bullet-ridden sign.
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Mary M wrote a review May 2019
4 contributions
I left exhibit grateful for the courage of Emmett’s mother. She was a strong woman who changed history. I cannot imagine her pain and sadness but she used her tragedy to mobilize people to demand a better world. We all need this courage moving forward.
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Date of experience: May 2019
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