thumbnail of American Experience; The Murder of Emmett Till; Interview with Clara Davis, Mississippi resident
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oh it's both eugene it couldn't go out will know that you know when you're fifteen sixteen against that that time this area so well known but later it's never went out along that night and priscilla where you got sober you had to walk and we always winning groups and most of the time there was a male with us the reason for this was because white man would ride around in blackwell tone and we would try to pick up workers and of course when you didn't cooperate and then they were you know
use lueck language about what they want to do to you and always comes and of course we would immediately step up the pace and walking and often we stopped at some nice house pretending that that's where we're going and we wait until the car had left and then we would come out and proceed well it was we were all there is let it happen to you yes that happened to me one night i was going to look at what the low end i lived at that time a little stop street and i was going to grandmother's house that little stone street
and i was between i got into purses street and this car drove around cooking white doesn't it and they stopped asking me you know we're going with him like you know to you know walk faster and i turned and went into a friend of us house on persistent than when they left a procedure which was right around the court also street and of course then my friends in a while back with me so i didn't go back home alone not all the way back to the corner to the casino caper for security the people going north and to chicago's of light then what
was invited people go to phone it was well mostly what's funny because he had relatives there and they go there there's no place to stay with their relatives and they work to find jobs to make more money because the only thing you could do that here was you either jail or out what the coworker about a day people who lived in town the chopped that that they do in the growing season women's harvest time you pick up a bow hunter and when you were there that day you only got three dollars a day and when you think about a hundred you got about maybe three dollars a hundred and he you could get more than a hundred pounds there were people who could pit two to three hundred pounds so they made me and what my and only all the people most of the people
who migrated to chicago where the younger generation they did not roasting and pick cotton for three dollars a day and chuck on three dollars a day so they left trumka found their life they wanted joe when they could make some money and do something such out and because they think they also at home it's i think part of another reason for me when i was visibly part obviously but what are the other reasons too was to get away from home and it was it was oppressive in some ways with this ok a lot of people that people who have migrated to chicago they came back and they told me on how nice it was his voice race relations that you know you could do anything you wanted to do a long e you didn't have to watch it were just sick to white
person that things were better as ford is race relations you know oh i don't really read or not i didn't go well that's what they would say they say that blacks went to school with white in white teachers and that everything's so differently so blacks last year to try to get a better life opens both emotionally and economically and physically now healthcare will they say that you go to the last groups and see doctors and here you have very little health care we have in greenwood there was a black pastor oh that was very poorly served very poorly equipped and there was a white house floor that you could not go to and when they did open the door words they go to
moscow and this was in the fifties that if you went just asking this segregated wards in the sections so you and that is in one section the why was in the burned section and of course you won't wait you don't know what you got one of those calls a lyric is so why stay you what you're in general you know why you know i mean i mean i know why mean anything but for zika the biggest of the arms and what i said ok i can go from personal experience in the first place is alive so you know you don't know anything else so well you know usually you would
allow a left here in the group must have been around sixty and i moved in the teacher's college at the tulane university because mama lived in new york actor walter teaches college then while there i decided to browse grisly art was like you know so and not going to different places and a lot of that you know where i was i found that it was just to say being of fame is it was he a found that a lot of what did indeed agencies and businesses that i went to was one and so i don't see that much difference except i knew you know my place the riot police and the place he
can go into the new week we talk a little bit about now we learned you know what we can do a what we can do what we should do you know what i said was we're talking all of the emmett till couldn't be no disease wasn't well but but you know how how how do you have it is in the south what they can do what they can do from the earliest of you recognize and who you were you knew that when you bet you first place you go you get so you learned this from your bet you learned that you can go here and you can't go that you learn their own but the science is colored
and white unit he came really you know the difference just by looking at you also know that lauren bos of patients use the lights over here are lax over here and if you accidentally as a young child go where to what what about you immediately tell you the get go that you have driven this out that's for the white folks and you get the lake so this is something you go out with a new the first time and you're like this is what you see and which expires so as just like going anyway know you do which you're trying to do as a very young child
this equation again about the need for a walking along with that decision so i said oh i'm talking about don't you as a young girl and you just go out and walk through no you know go out and walk along you always want if you will anywhere you want in groups the young girls are patients that audience a young girls dozens of my little different for more than thirty gay so would you go anywhere now you cannot walk alone we're going to say because if you walk along you is the subject to be stopped are a cost that buyer white man who were driving through your neighborhood then propositioned and then
when you refuse the addresses you know he was subjected to lewd remarks so you didn't walk along this happen to me one night a little scouts troop i was going to see a friend it was early so i felt pretty safe because it was not bought and my friend it'll still mostly when i got to persist through this is where they drove the cover to stop me because i picked him up as a kid walking in the you know just run alongside me and saw turn and went to another house of another friend presented by that the new job in a lot of money in deciding how susan fraud because they do you mean you knew that its last up enough to the front man what happened and she says what will what's up when the money and i'll go with you to get more assistance so when they left then we lived and we went and then
shape than my friend to worse this is this group of scientists and they walked me that point when hong kong kong scott and roosevelt you know hold a bunch of kind of social customs of what you couldn't do you know the way to force active white folks to keep up what war was then that meant that you were sort of the new york post do well you didn't really have a whole lot of content once an issue the most complex human point you worked for me you do a tense grew there were no social function that you attended one of your contact was used in a place of business are a place to work you always say yes ma'am no ma'am cuz black units
then we talk to say is no minimum to your elders anyway all but given if they were young white girl your age you're supposed to say this many economists in the awards columnist and if you were the bowels fortunate on fourchon i did not have to work for him and i hate deer into contact with what except if i went to a place of business and then if i went to a place of business news and i was with my grandfather he did not relieve us along to be subjected to very much so i guess my three rivers might have been different from some of those we're talking about you know the young girl whoa
oh whoa requested you have something and nothing there was no recourse if a white male and young girl and took it out in the remote writes there was no arrests no us investigation into funny you would just write if this happened now i don't know personally but in the second roderica says last period it's an annual bit more and start talking over that using your story just to repeat and i guess this happened i guess around forty six forty seven when i was in school and to go to yale a plain vanilla and you know back
in downtown was on airplane was it was flat over and so my grandfather let's go out and we all across the aisle to see this year that will only catholic there was several noon and they were like standing around walk in our second plane hit the ground you're in skivvies think this will well i was not a man and i don't remember his name of black man with the hair all of this on his writing all these things we're missing a separate fall and he kept it like in a pocket and this white man his name was mr wall that's all i remember was first night but he came and he cursed insisted not to you to move one man just don't look around him and he we thought gee
upside his name but he did not even he could you know could easily with a man and as he passed us my grandmother scoring and sit here and that may look at that elicit issue rudy and local law and then he finally began to follow this an ecology and they realized that he was hurt sushi so we locate him into the car to take brazil to graeme wood to this is going to bring into greenland but before they could get in new management today an old person can listen when he got here was a black doctor and that doctor's name dr land after this why people around in the community saying that if the fbi actually an ex you question
you weren't supposed to know it and nobody's name was never arrested there was never a trial but if these companies have been known and will be that the policemen on saturday nights in tow this is for players and so that in some ways there was this always this forever you know there was all this variety of wines year and if you got onto plaintiff will point there's no place was that you know in any way say anything they didn't want you didn't disagree with them on you just didn't do that no few occasions a few people you know you can get with so the end or even the whites have a
respected teachers and preachers and so if you if you disagree with something and you could if you passed through all new teachers they could say something bigger written by these people you're the whole story and you think of the soviet system is that sort of the ag in the aisle that was all this was in the forties the beef without was six was sent on that don't like you didn't see planes to love you well in fact i've never seen a plane except one final and this plane crashed in a fatal immigrant crew area
not too far was going that i was attending and my grandfather was a principal they're about to go look at this plane on the ground so we've got to hear this song that the political as little like counting from where the plane hit the ground to create scott you know and that's why the name he was uplifted so yes i don't want to go on going up well what was the line and i don't think he heard you kept doing so he gave up behind him and he cited nick says doing that did you do go all and man look around and walter white and we got them a grandmother there was a lot of issues as yet she yell and mail it to say you know he caught me and walk down and then they begin to fall because the book was and so some of the other man that would be has a tan
the duo took him drive to take him to the doctor a lot which is about eighteen miles to where we were if we got that nothing was ever done because there were people in that period came out thank you bill cause if you do you may not be on something that happened to you don't say yeah in by combat and su course you'll know intimately and ideas not my grandfather when he worked with you didn't say that they didn't see in my grandmother this issue is this says you thought immediately room you have to get the next and that it essentially about dung could disagree with my folks could you know because it is richard cohen won't be allowed
we know a great deal like the airline because black it hidden all rights it all know where but where white people were concerned do you know why the president is something to you you know we course it all in their world so why do they like the only thing that doesn't like a lot of ms you know why we get up the disappearances doing that that it would disappear well what happened they just disappeared of course obama looks for his friend's little don't you look for the family and one of the things that that that you know we talk about is the arm or the big taboos for black man was the association with no one no human look
a black male ones will look at why she gained useful to drop to the elements everyday and walk because if you look at a white woman and that was an indication that he was probably interested in her sexually it now la cosa on whats already threatened in his liking about else so but just because you sweat it is they thought blackmail one of those cities is usually uses is how world with black women you know and it's not the kind of turnaround on us you know the center of this foreign film legacy my best part of wells go down or black women who were none to have let me quite new and most of the black women
who hit quite nervous most of them let me and had to trust your way because if this one's going with this was this but just what is love really you do is the same mess with you is it you knew him take a picture money more people who see this and never been the money that never been a government level walls of them in the time it was one street with maybe thirty six stores but that's all just one one story was a much lesser you count this one once drink
everything was right that the generals toe in i guess the modern post office and maybe not a hardware store or something like that it wasn't in stores was the store was weak you familiar with the virus or movement years what was it wasn't your typical loan is against oh you're still going to mimic those four years talk about that that time a little store that was run by for a customer like that was in almost every community that she went to and just about everything you'll need to have the last round candy's in and go home and so that you about hope at ut and the only go you know and stuff like that you bob really at
the orient news got the general store you about anything you want from the news i'm still even some of the tensions so when you would just do anything you want you can you saw an ice cream sundae and the stores use that hat on the cow's like a glass that certain things was the hand account display a certain things and it poses a newbie hands you know that you just picked up you know and most things like beings the hindu own scooper that this will give up and bags and soda to do so it was that as the west or bad thing szymanski just justices give me a short version of that and if you could just
because you started with the police i was in that store and we may not we may not know what story or talk about when you talk about that story so he could just say you know well in their rural community you had the store and especially along mr cilluffo in humanity and still in post offices but all assumes if you will on you went to another unknown they had to come where they kept the debate was planted the us and he wanted someone with cheeses that you couldn't forget and have beans and rice and stuff and barrels of pickles and barrels and rice and beans and stuff like that they take a scoop and the airbags they would put it in the bank and have these great because of people of what about people that a great pitfall
they think about your typical state university they were the stories on to the store's owner that we know what's coming on like the putin you don't have any store set up is such that rwanda black people not in the room is now when you came to places like removed you know when it was too slow but graeme wood heads into black neighborhoods you had stories that will run by some black circuit from espn again and we don't need to go into you know what we will we'll be talking about the valley you just tell me who who wins the distortions always why people ran stuart singer layers and i asked again the way he gets wasted second happened after i finished as what will crumble talk at the same time so when the scores the whites
always room stewart's been really is no blacks belongs to your jewelry the person who ran the stonewall it belonged to them our land all lonely and they always have a general store that you could get in a flying the war than most black people have accounts at the stores the little store and money was that was a really so sometimes the civil smallest almighty one by paul why is he coming to see my work and civil trial and in newtown you have several stores and only stores run by what's in a town the size of money it like being in a small places like the risk of recession there was
a hope that justice will be done that might have been hoped but not expectation nobody expected anything to be done because they can no soldier and they say it was gospel but keep his testimony was not going to be considered and we all knew that in the beginning we know twelve was just a trial that there would be no justice with what about a why do you too and we know that so it feels more than its illicit that that when a white men were arrested when they were arrested she helps you though okay
American Experience
The Murder of Emmett Till
Raw Footage
Interview with Clara Davis, Mississippi resident
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Clara Davis interview about Emmett Till, an African-American teenager who was lynched in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman.
Race and Ethnicity
Law Enforcement and Crime
American history, African Americans, civil rights, racism, lynching, Mississippi
(c) 2003-2017 WGBH Educational Foundation
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Identifier: barcode291041_Davis_Clara_01_SALES_ASP_h264 Amex.mp4 (unknown)
Duration: 0:32:26
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Chicago: “American Experience; The Murder of Emmett Till; Interview with Clara Davis, Mississippi resident,” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “American Experience; The Murder of Emmett Till; Interview with Clara Davis, Mississippi resident.” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: American Experience; The Murder of Emmett Till; Interview with Clara Davis, Mississippi resident. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from