A black man sleeping with a White woman during the Civil Rights Movement was unheard of, but whistling at one was just as bad. Unfortunately, 14-year-old Emmett Louis Till learned that the hard way. During the summer of 1955, Till was visiting his family in Money, Mississippi when he caught himself interacting in an â€œunacceptablyâ€ flirtatious manner with a 21-year-old White woman named Carolyn Bryant in Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market. Carolyn happened to be the wife of the storeâ€™s owner.
Four days later, not realizing the boundaries between blacks and Whites were different down South than in the Midwest, the promising Illinois native found himself in the hands of the White womanâ€™s husband and his half-brother, Roy and J.W. respectively, at 2:30am. After taking Till to the Tallahatchie River, the two men brutally beat and shot him; â€œtied him up barbed wire to a large metal fan; and shoved his mutilated body into the water.â€ Emmettâ€™s uncle, Moses Wright, told police his nephew was missing, but three days passed before his body was recovered from the waters.