While Emmett's body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea

from Bob Dylan – The Death Of Emmett Till Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated to the status of second class citizens. Jim Crow represented the legitimization of anti-Black racism. This included segregation in public places, education and more; blacks were viewed as inferior.

The Jim Crow Southern Sea Bob Dylan is saying is actually the Tallahatchie River. The same one Emmett Till was dumped in.

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