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Willie Louis
Willie Louis (Associated Press)

Willie Louis

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July 25, 2016
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July 25, 2016
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Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed.

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July 30, 2013

The year was 1961. I was in the Greenwood, Mississippi Unemployment Office. The white female clerk made a remark that I cannot remember and I responded with a lighthearted joke. She began laughing rather loudly. The entire office suddenly became eerily quiet. A feeling of foreboding swept over me as I began to realize that I had inadvertently done something wrong...but what? I will explain below.

I was a young "Negro" man at the time of the tragic lynching of Emmett Till. I can remember the feelings of dismay and hopelessness that I and many others felt in the face of the blatant racism that we endured in that era. I became one of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1956. One of the things that impressed me was the Bible based hope that all races of mankind would, in the near future, peacefully and unitedly live on a paradise earth. (Isaiah 2:2-4)
I and my wife zealously began to share that hope with others. In 1961,even though she was pregnant with twins we accepted an opportunity to share the Bible promise of a paradise earth with the "Colored" people of Greenwood, Mississippi. Strict segregation laws were in effect. We were fully aware of the recent history of events in the Greenwood area and that as black Californians we would probably be viewed with suspicion as possible "trouble makers." However, our mission was to convey the message of the only real hope for all humankind...God's Kingdom. We found our listeners to be oh so humble and without guile. We had wonderful experiences as we conducted numerous Bible studies with eager and appreciative audiences.

However, it was extremely difficult to find employment in Greenwood and that is why I was in the Unemployment Office as mentioned above. After the hush descended on the office I was feverishly trying to figure out What had I done wrong? I began to think back about what had happened to Emmett Till...Then it struck me, The boy had made the mistake of becoming too familiar with a white woman! Now I was being viewed by everyone in that office as being too familiar with the white female clerk. My heart sank. Was an innocent joke going to get me lynched? Would I ever see my wife again? Would I ever see my yet unborn twins? What do I do now? I began praying silently to Jehovah for protection and guidance. I thanked the clerk for her assistance and hastily left the office. I made it safely home without incident. For reasons that I will never know nothing further resulted from that encounter.

As I now read the Willie Louis obituary I can fully appreciate his bravery and courage as a teenager in a deathly hostile environment fully aware that the accused would probably be found innocent, nonetheless, testifying in court as to what he had seen and heard. Willie Louis was a man among men! I honor and respect him for that.

The Bible also promises a resurrection from the dead.(John 5:28) I personally look forward to that day with the hope that I will be able to greet Willie Louis and Emmett Till and help them understand and appreciate that God's promise is being fulfilled and that brutal attrocities that they have experienced and seen will never occur again. "For he will deliver the poor one crying for help, Also the afflicted one and whoever has no helper. ?He will feel sorry for the lowly one and the poor one, And the souls of the poor ones he will save. ?From oppression and from violence he will redeem their soul, And their blood will be precious in his eyes." Psalms 72:12-14
July 30, 2013
Thank You.
July 30, 2013
Rest in sweet peace. Thank you for standing for right so long ago. I pray that Our Lord walks with and hold your family in His Loving Arms as they face tomorrow without you. You will forever be in our hearts.
July 30, 2013
May You Rest Now Mr. Willie Louis. You Are At Peace.
July 29, 2013
I just wanted to say THANK YOU/ THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.....MAY YOU REST IN PEACE
July 29, 2013
THANKS MR. WILLIE LOUIS FOR SPEAKING UP. MAY YOUR SOUL BE AT PEACE.
July 29, 2013
May God's peace be with you during this difficult time.
July 29, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
July 29, 2013
Thank you for being committed to the truth...now may the lord give you rest.
July 29, 2013
Thanks for your testimony in the case of Emmett Till. Rest in Peace!

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