Avenging the Blood of Emmett Till: Memorial march to be held


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Eastin Arcola eighth-grader Gueorgina Bojorquez shows her teacher, Scott Gandy, the poster she made for Monday’s march.

 

A memorial march to remember Emmett Till, the 14-year-old African-American who was tortured and murdered by two grown men in 1955, will be held in Madera on Monday.


Eighth graders from Eastin-Arcola and La Vina Schools will begin the march at the Madera Unified School District offices, 1902 Howard Road, at 10 a.m. The students will proceed east on Yosemite Avenue to the Madera County Courthouse Museum.


Displaying handmade posters, the students will share their feelings on the tragic death of Emmett Till and their plans to search for some measure of justice.


It all started in August 2021 when the two classes of MUSD 8th graders commenced a Madera Method project, which focused on the evolution of “Jim Crow” in Madera, and in the nation.


After examining several local examples of Jim Crow, the students broadened the scope of their effort to include the history of Jim Crow throughout the country. This brought them face to face with violent expressions of Jim Crow, the inescapable result of racism.


The students investigated several lynchings, and then they discovered the murder of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old African-American lad. They were stunned by this heinous crime and shocked by the fact that the two grown, white men who tortured and murdered young Emmett were tried and found, “Not Guilty.”


So appalled were the students that they decided to correct this historical injustice by putting Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, the killers, on trial.


Their plan included a memorial march during Black History month to remember Emmett Till and to announce plans to try the killers in absencia.


At the same time, they decided to hold the trial in the old Madera County Court house in March.


Students will prosecute the case, and members of the Black Students Union will serve as jurors. The trial will take place on March 31.