Witness to Emmett Till Lynching Dies in Illinois

Originally posted on Black America Web:

CHICAGO (AP) — Hearing the screams of 14-year-old lynching victim Emmett Till from inside a Mississippi barn left a teenage field hand with an unbearable choice. He could tell a courtroom and risk paying for it with his life or keep quiet and let those screams eat away at his conscience.

Grisly photos of Till’s mutilated body, discovered three days later by a fisherman in the Tallahatchie River, left Willie Louis with no doubt about what he would do: testify at the trial of two white men accused in the black teen’s slaying.

“In the pictures, I saw his body, what it was like. Then I knew that I couldn’t say no,” Louis recalled in a 2004 “60 Minutes” interview about the testimony he gave half a century earlier.

Louis died July 18 at age 76 at a hospital in a suburb of Chicago, the city he fled to in…

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