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On August 28, 1955, a black 14-year-old male, named Emmett Till, was found murdered after he had been accused of flirting with a white woman. August 28, 1955, was also my eighth birthday. Today, I suppose that most parents would want to shelter an 8-year-old from such gruesome news, but I remember the magazines depicting the gory details lying around the house for weeks. In my young mind, it would have been merciful if Emmett had been hanged. I could not comprehend that his eye was gouged out, but I understood his extreme suffering at the hands of people determined to teach a horrific lesson.