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Chicago, Crime, and Life: At age 18, Willie Reed risked his life to appear as a surprise witness in the Emmett Till Murder Trial theblaquelioness @theblaquelioness Willie Reed did not know Emmett Till, the young man whose murder in the Mississippi Delta became one of the most infamous lynchings in the history of the Jim Crow South. Mr. Reed saw him only once — on Aug. 28, 1955, during the last hours of Till’s life — in the back of a green and white Chevrolet pickup truck. Mr. Reed, a sharecropper, risked his life at 18 to appear as a surprise witness in the prosecution of the white men accused of the crime. He became the momentary hero of the Till trial, an event that helped spur the civil rights movement. Mr. Reed passed away in 2013 at a hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. He was 76, and he had lived in Chicago under a different name — first in secrecy and later in relative obscurity — since fleeing Mississippi for his safety over 65 years ago. For decades, he had worked as a hospital orderly. Mr. Reed knew speaking out against the defendants in the case would make him, too, a target for lynching. But he “couldn’t have walked away,” he said years later. “Emmett was 14,” Mr. Reed told the CBS News show “60 Minutes,” “and they killed him. I mean, that’s not right. . . . I knew that I couldn’t say no. Via: washingtonpost.com WillieReed EmmettTill theblaquelioness
Chicago, Crime, and Life: At age 18, Willie Reed risked his life to appear as
 a surprise witness in the Emmett Till Murder Trial
 theblaquelioness
 @theblaquelioness
Willie Reed did not know Emmett Till, the young man whose murder in the Mississippi Delta became one of the most infamous lynchings in the history of the Jim Crow South. Mr. Reed saw him only once — on Aug. 28, 1955, during the last hours of Till’s life — in the back of a green and white Chevrolet pickup truck. Mr. Reed, a sharecropper, risked his life at 18 to appear as a surprise witness in the prosecution of the white men accused of the crime. He became the momentary hero of the Till trial, an event that helped spur the civil rights movement. Mr. Reed passed away in 2013 at a hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. He was 76, and he had lived in Chicago under a different name — first in secrecy and later in relative obscurity — since fleeing Mississippi for his safety over 65 years ago. For decades, he had worked as a hospital orderly. Mr. Reed knew speaking out against the defendants in the case would make him, too, a target for lynching. But he “couldn’t have walked away,” he said years later. “Emmett was 14,” Mr. Reed told the CBS News show “60 Minutes,” “and they killed him. I mean, that’s not right. . . . I knew that I couldn’t say no. Via: washingtonpost.com WillieReed EmmettTill theblaquelioness

Willie Reed did not know Emmett Till, the young man whose murder in the Mississippi Delta became one of the most infamous lynchings in the h...