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Shocking the ConscienceA Reporter's Account of the Civil Rights Movement$
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Simeon Booker and Carol McCabe Booker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617037894

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617037894.001.0001

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date: 23 February 2019

The Trial

The Trial

(p.63) 6 The Trial
Shocking the Conscience

Simeon Booker

University Press of Mississippi

In this chapter, the author narrates his coverage of the trial of J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, who were accused for the kidnapping and murder of fourteen-year-old Chicago boy, Emmett Till. With Judge Curtis M. Swango presiding, the trial began on September 19, 1955 at the courthouse in Sumner. Just over a week before the trial, the unedited, close-up photo of Till’s mutilated face was published in Jet, sparking a tremendous public reaction that the magazine quickly sold out. The trial was also covered by numerous white daily news organizations and three television networks. The author describes the events at the trial, from jury selection to the appearance of witnesses such as Moses Wright, Till’s mother Mamie Till Bradley, and Tallahatchie County Sheriff H. C. Strider.

Keywords:   trial, Jet, J. W. Milam, Roy Bryant, kidnapping, murder, Emmett Till, jury, witnesses, Tallahatchie County

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