CHICAGO - 6427 South St. Lawrence Avenue is not just any old house. It is the childhood home of civil right pioneer Emmett Till.
Romillie Adams and Till graduated 8th grade together from the former McCosh Elementary, now Emmett Till Math & Science Academy.
They were playmates and close friends.
"He used to always pull on my hair. He came to my parties, we’d have parties in the basement," Adams said.
Nearly 100 people gathered outside the West Woodlawn home Sunday, celebrating its now city landmark status. The 14-year-old was kidnapped, brutally beaten and Lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after allegedly whistling at a white woman. Till’s story sent shockwaves around the country after his mother insisted on an open casket funeral.
"He was my friend, he was sitting behind me two weeks before she took him (to Mississippi), to see him looking like a monster, I couldn’t take it," Adams said.
Naomi Davis of "Blacks in Green" said, "we have some architectural restoration and we are looking at the summer of 2024 to open up to the public."
Attendees spent the day celebrating Till’s legacy. They also talked about the ongoing fight for equality and social justice. People took pictures and signed the Emmett Till History Wall.
For Camryn Junior, age 12, the day was about reflection and learning from a horrific past.
"He did nothing wrong and you should not feel scared when you see a white person," Junior said.