Americans during the era of the Ku Klux Klan

Persecution of African Americans during the era were the Ku Klux Klan was in its prime/ times of segregated communities

To persecute someone means to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically: to cause to suffer because of race or belief. For years African Americans have been persecuted by the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK is a secret white supremacist organization that is against African Americans,Catholics, Jews, foreigners, and labour unions. Though The KKK also terrorize Jews and other non Christian cultures(basically anyone different from themselves), their primary focus was the african american society. Their hatred for the African American people were displayed lynching them, torturing them, burning crosses, burning African Americans on the cross, mutilating their bodies and displaying them publicly etc. The Persecution of African Americans led to the deaths of many people, mainly African Americans, and the birth of many black groups, leaders and speakers such as the Black Panthers, Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, etc.

Emmett Till

On August 24th, Emmett Till and a friend went into ton to make a purchase from the market. Upon Leaving the store, Till either said, "Bye, baby" or he whistled at Carolyn Bryant, a young white woman. Till was not conscious of the magnitude of his actions. Four days later, Milam Bryant, Carolyn Bryant’s Husband, and his half brother went to Till’s current home, and kidnapped him. Till’s disappearance was put into newspapers, and Bryant, and his half brother was arrested for Emmett’s kidnapping. Three days later, Emmett Till's body was discovered in the Tallahatchie River. He was weighted down by seventy-five pounds of cotton gin fan that was tied around his neck with barbed wire. His face was so mutilated that his family could only identify him by the ring that he was wearing. His right eye was missing, his nose was broken, and there was a hole on the side of his head. His mother decided to have a open casket funeral, so that the world could see what had happened to her son, 50,000 people attended. Emmett Till’s murderers were placed in court with a jury of their friends and community (all of which were white). The defense was, It was not Emmett Till’s body drawn from the lake. Mose Wright, who lived with Emmett, and witnessed the event, testified that Milam and Bryant were the men that had taken Till at gunpoint. Milam and Bryant's attorney forewarned the jury about convicting the defendants: "Your ancestors will turn over in their grave, and I'm sure every last Anglo-Saxon one of you has the courage to free these men." 67 minutes later, the jury found the defendants not guilty. The jury concluded that the prosecution had failed to prove that the body recovered from the river was Emmett Till.

Emmett Till in his casket

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On January 24, 1956, Look magazine published the confession of Milam and Bryant, who had agreed to tell their story for $4,000. They confessed beating Till with a .45 in Milam's barn. They then put him back in the truck and took him to the Tallahatchie River, they had him undress and then shot him. They then tied a gin fan around his neck with wire in order to weigh the body down. Then they proceeded to burn Till's clothes and shoes. Milam and Bryant were never charged with the crime of murdering Till.

The murder of Emmett Till was a shocking example to the world of the danger, inequality, and prejudice that blacks faced then, and continue to face today.


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