Walking with Emmett Till’s Legacy

The Emmett Till Memorial Park & Interpretive Nature Trail:

Whereas other nearby historical sites teach the story of Emmett Till’s murder, this park in Glendora, Mississippi, located along the Black Bayou provides a peaceful and scenic space for visitors to reflect on the legacy of that tragedy. 14 signs dot the paved walking trail and exhibit quotes from a wide range of people on the Till murder. These signs help the visitor make sense of this horrific murder and even reflect on how to help push race relations forward today.

The fact the park rests along the banks of the bayou where along with Till, Clinton Melton was murdered and his wife Beulah Melton died in a car accident makes this a very emotional experience. The Black Bayou Bridge from which Till’s murdered body was allegedly tossed into the Black Bayou below is adjacent to the park and well worth a visit. It is amazing that what was once an overgrown, preferred location to dump the bodies of these victims now helps teach understanding, tolerance and hope.

“Ground Zero for Civil Rights”:

Glendora’s connection to the Till murder makes it “Ground zero for civil rights” according to Johnny B. Thomas, the town’s mayor since 1986. Mr. Thomas started the Emmett Till Historic Intrepid Center in 2005 and also provides the Till Trail of Terror tour to many of the historic sites associated with Till’s murder in Tallahatchie County.

Group Effort Builds Park:  

The park was created in 2010 by Glendora residents, Prairie View A&M University and Dr. Mildred Clark of the Calvary Baptist Church. Members from each of these organizations, including residents from New York, provided the signage quotes. The quote from Simeon Wright, Till’s cousin who bore witness to much of the Till events, were initiated by Prairie View which helped seek out the family.

Brings Glendora Together:

Glendora residents use the park and stage for 4th of July celebrations, Annual Glendora Day, Gospel festivals, Hip Hop concerts, Blues concerts and family/school reunions.

 

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