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Emmett Till was a fourteen-year old African American boy who was visiting family in Mississippi. Unaccustomed to the repressive racial etiquette in Mississippi, he was accused of making approaches to a white woman. Witness accounts vary, with some saying he only whistled at her, and others saying he made no advances at all. The woman claimed that he made "lewd remarks" toward her. The woman's husband and several accomplices kidnapped Till from his relatives' home, beat and shot him to death, and threw his lifeless body in a river. In a high-profile case, the men were tried and acquitted by an all-white jury. Later, they confessed to the crime in a magazine interview. Emmett Till's mother opted for an open-casket funeral, and thousands of mourners came to pay respects. Jet Magazine ran photos of the boy's badly disfigured corpse to a national readership, underscoring the brutality of the crime. Emmett Till became a martyr for the nascent civil rights movement.
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