If the Brown decision had made 1954 a somewhat hopeful year for African Americans, 1955 brought disappointment and outrage. In May the Supreme Court implemented its year-old decision with a decree requiring desegregation of public schools "with all deliberate speed," which meant gradually. Founded in the Mississippi Delta in July 1954, White Citizens Councils vowing to resist integration were mushrooming across the Deep South. In late August 1955 Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old black boy from Chicago visiting his Mississippi cousins, was brutally murdered for allegedly saying "bye, baby" to a white female store clerk. The killers, who later confessed, were acquitted.
With renewed concern, civil rights activist Rosa L. Parks attended a two- week summer workshop on furthering school desegregation at Highlander Folk School in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee. Started by Myles Horton in the early 1930s, Highlander served as a training center for community activists and labor organizers. Parks's friend Virginia Foster Durr, a white activist for whom she had worked as a seamstress, arranged a scholarship.