Wendy Alexander / The Madera Tribune
Gueorgina Bojorquez, an eighth-grade student at Eastin Arcola, shows her teacher, Scott Gandy, the poster she made for Monday’s march.
A memorial march to remember Emmett Till, the 14-year-old African American who was tortured and murdered by two adult men in 1955, will be held in Madera on Monday.
Eighth graders from Eastin-Arcola and La Vina schools will begin the march at the Madera Unified School District offices, 1902 Howard Road, at 10 a.m. Students will head east on Yosemite Avenue to the Madera County Courthouse Museum.
Displaying handmade posters, students will share their feelings about the tragic death of Emmett Till and their plans to seek some measure of justice.
It all started in August 2021 when the two classes of 8th graders at MUSD started a Madera Method project, which focused on the evolution of “Jim Crow” in Madera and the country.
After examining several local examples of Jim Crow, the students broadened the scope of their efforts to include Jim Crow history nationwide. This brought them face to face with violent expressions of Jim Crow, an inescapable result of racism.
The students investigated several lynchings, then they uncovered the murder of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old African-American boy. They were stunned by this heinous crime and shocked that the two adult white men who tortured and murdered young Emmett were tried and found “not guilty”.
The students were so appalled that they decided to right this historic injustice by putting Roy Bryant and JW Milam, the killers, on trial.
Their plan included a memorial march during Black History Month to remember Emmett Till and to announce plans to try the killers in absentia.
At the same time, they decided to hold the trial at the Old Madera County Courthouse in March.
The students will prosecute the case and members of the Black Student Union will serve as jurors. The trial will take place on March 31.