by Caleigh Hoffman ’18
Four days in and I am an expert at installing windows. We spent our first night in the dorms, woke up and had cereal and baked oatmeal, and started work earlier than previous days because of this. One house got painted a lovely beige while the other house finished installing very large windows and putting up wall installation. We finished work early for the day and had a quick lunch of PB&J and chips. After lunch we spent a quick hour and a half playing Egyptian rat-screw, a card game involving speed that I excelled at losing at.
After we finished our game of cards we got in the vans and headed to Sumner, Mississippi to the courthouse where the two men who kidnapped and killed Emmett Till were tried and acquitted. We went to the Emmett Till Interpretive Center where we learned about the town and county’s relationship with the Emmett Till trial. The two men who killed Emmett Till were acquitted; they later confessed but received no consequence. They were acquitted by a 12 person jury of all white men. We toured the courthouse that was remodeled to look like it did in 1955 when the men were tried. We also learned that a statue outside the courthouse of a confederate soldier was put there even though no one in the county fought in the civil war. We then explored the town a little and went to the bridge overlooking the Little Tallahatchie River, where we also learned that the town was split between the white neighborhoods on one side of the river and black neighborhoods on the other. In 2018 the town still has some degree of segregation. I thought it was so interesting to learn of the outrage the wider US felt over the murder of Till while Tallahatchie County mainly felt apathy.
After visiting Sumner we started our dinner of stir fry and Valerie made a pecan pie and a peach pie (for Pi Day). We played some more cards after dinner.