Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #2: Aftermath of the Till Murder

“I was sending news to the Jackson Daily News at the time of the Emmett Till case but was not expected to cover anything as big as that story and so was spared that, though it would have been an interesting one to cover. Local people resented the wide news coverage so it was just as well I missed that one.

“In 1986 a man who said he was employed by a television station in Chicago which was an NBC affiliate, called me and asked if I could give him any information on what happened to Milam and Bryant and other information on the Till case, since he was preparing a documentary on the case and planned to come to Greenwood later. Even this long after it happened I was hesitant to talk to him too much for fear of being quoted. He had interviewed Till’s mother in Chicago and said she had started a club called ‘The Emmett Till Boys Club.’ He did come to Greenwood but I only talked to him on the phone. He told me that Milam was dead and that he had found Bryant operating a store in Ruleville which was similar to the one in Money.

“In 1954 the Supreme Court had handed down the Brown v. Board of Education decision declaring that school segregation was illegal, and little did we realize the impact this would have on our schools or how it would affect our lives and those of our children.”

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About sec040121

Hello....I'm in possession of a priceless collection of memoirs and memorabilia left by my mother, Sara Evans Criss. She was a native and lifelong (88 years!) devotee of our small town, who covered this peculiar and volatile corner of the world for 30 years as the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Greenwood bureau chief, a job that started out with debutantes and high school football and wound up spang in the midst of one of the twentieth century's most enduring social upheavals. This blog is dedicated to her memory and the legacy she left behind, both for her family and her community.
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