Interview with Reverend Will Campbell
QUESTION 16
INTERVIEWER:

WHAT WAS, DO YOU HAVE A SENSE OF WHAT THE REACTION, IF ANY, FROM WHITE MISSISSIPPIANS IN GENERAL WAS TO THE NEWS OF THAT, FIRST OF THE LYNCHING AND THEN OF THE TRIAL AND THE VERDICT.

Rev. Will D. Campbell:

It's very difficult to believe that in 1955 intelligent, civilized, and often sophisticated people would say, well, that didn't really happen, that the NAACP, which was considered the radicals at the time had this boy killed and thrown in the river to embarrass white Mississippi, or to raise money and so on. All kinds of stories, or that wasn't really his body, his mother discredited, that they—some black undertaker from Chicago—brought a bum down here who had died of a drug overdose on the streets and threw it in the river and Emmett Till's back in Chicago laughing at us. And, and these things, which is today impossible—even though I lived through it and experienced it—to believe that those things were being seriously said and reported in allegedly responsible organs of the media, but it happened.