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The oldest living relative of Emmett Till dedicates civil rights memorial in Riviera Beach

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Greg Lovett
The Palm Beach Post
Bishop Thomas Masters, left, and police Sgt. Roosevelt Lee help Thelma Wright Edwards, the oldest living close relative of Emmett Till after she spoke at New Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Riviera Beach on June 19, 2022.

The oldest living relative of Emmett Till, the Black teenager whose lynching in 1955 galvanized the civil rights movement, helped commemorate her cousin Sunday alongside the names of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Corey Jones and other Black people killed by police or civilians.

A couple dozen people gathered at 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of New Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church at 748 W. Ninth St., one block north of Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, to honor Till with the unveiling of a red parking bumper bearing his name.

Local politicos and other distinguished residents spoke to the crowd — most attendees wore church suits and dresses — as the temperature soared past 90 degrees. The hourlong event, featuring a rap performance and the Black national anthem, "Lift Every Voice And Sing," was capped by remarks from Till's second cousin, Thelma Wright Edwards, who is 91. She sat in the air-conditioned church, masked, and came out when it was her turn to speak.

Read more at our news partner, The Palm Beach Post.