Friday, August 28, 2009

What's in a name? Check out these --

The Tallahatchie County Courthouse, site of the trial of Emmett Till's killers, seen from across the Cassidy Bayou. Photo by Susan Klopfer

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson has officially requested that the U.S. attorney general to investigate an incident in which residents of Sumner conducted a search for a burglary suspect.

The Jackson,Mississippi Clarion Ledger reports --

The suspect, William Pittman, was charged Aug. 20 with breaking and entering a home in Sumner. He was released on bond the same day.

There's no indication Pittman was injured.

The FBI has also said it’s looking into the incident.

"I have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the vigilante type activities that occurred in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, last Thursday," Thompson announced today in a news release.

“Unauthorized people with guns, terrorizing citizens of this area has no place in civilized society.

“The fact that this community still (bears) the stains of racial tensions and is the area that Emmett Till was murdered weighs heavy on the conscience and fears of this community.”
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Well, well. What an interesting time for this to take place -- in the week coming up on the anniversary of young Till's kidnapping and lynching. It hasn't been that long ago, and it's certainly fascinating to search out some names (not yet mentioned as involved by news organizations) in the Sovereignty Commission files. Here's a few Who's Who searches to get started ...

By the way, here's the latest url for the archives digital collections,

If any of this sticks, here are several names that might pop out (relatives of a possible main player)

U.S.Rep. Jamie Whitten

John W. Whitten, Jr.

And a nice picture of John Jr. at the Emmett Till trial --

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Story of Neda has shades of Emmett Till and Jo Etha Collier, all civil rights martyrs

No funeral was allowed for Neda, the young woman shot by Iran's security forces. At the cemetery, security forces used tear gas to clear the area of demonstrators and mourners, according to CNN reports. A witness said riot police and Basij militia were at the scene, but the confrontations with people in the crowd involved Iran's militia.

In this Youtube Video, Neda's financee tells the harrowing story of the woman's death. She was hot and tired and got out of the car to get some rest. She was not in an areas where theyre had been any clashes, he says.

She was killed by the forces of Basij and the killer was seen by witnesses. "If that person was a police member, according to the laws of our country, he would have been wearing a uniform, and he was not."

No funeral was allowed because the government knew who shot her, her finance continues. "This is why they would not allow any funeral or services for her."

Links: Caspian Makan Neda Basij iran elections tehran elections mousavi ahmadinejad fiance iranian woman, iran elections tehran elections mousavi ahmadinejad fiance iranian woman, Caspian Makan Neda Basij iran elections tehran elections mousavi ahmadinejad fiance iranian woman


This week, I've begun blogging the stories of Emmett Till and five other Mississippi civil rights martyrs. The blog book is free and available at and so please come by, read and comment.

Included are accounts of Cleve McDowell, Jo Etha Collier, Adlena Hamlett, Birdia Keglar and Joe Pullen. All have sovereignty commission files.

You are invited to leave your comments at the Till book blog to become part of the blog book.

It is sad and fascinating that two young people, Emmett Till and, years later, Jo Etha Collier were killed in the civil rights movement; both events becoming key to the movement. Like Neda, their names will be remembered.


Sovereignty Commission Searches:

Cleve McDowell attempts to quell violence after Jo Etha Collier is murdered|75|0|23|1|1|1|5513|

Bertha Mae Carter and McDowell lead march after Collier killed|20|2|82|4|1|1|58889|