Interview with James Bevel
QUESTION 43
JAMES A. DEVINNEY:

Let me just stop you. Do we have a problem with the sound here? Should we stop down? Should we? OK, do you recall when you first heard about Emmett Till? Did that make a very strong impression on you?

JAMES BEVEL:

Yes, when I first heard of Emmett Till I think I was in Cleveland, or the Navy. I remember that era. It's about '55, ‘54ish, and well, I'm from Itta Bena, Mississippi, and the next county is Sunflower County and Ruleville. So it's the gin fan belt—that the fan that they put on his body came from a gin—the Gibson gin right in Itta Bena where I came from. So it had a real effect upon me in terms of that kind of South had to be changed and had to be dealt with. But I remember that very vividly in terms of how if affected me and how it affected all the people around me.