A new book about the Emmett Till Murder in 1955, called The Blood Of Emmett Till, to be released next week, reportedly states that Carolyn Bryant Donham, now 82, has recanted her 1955 statement that 14 year old Emmett Till made sexual advances to her at Bryant’s Grocery in Money, Leflore County, Mississippi.
In August 1955, the then 21 year old Carolyn Bryant claimed that 14 year old Emmett Till had made sexual advances and comments to her in Bryant’s Grocery, the store she ran with her then husband Roy Bryant.
Caroline Bryant’s allegations resulted in Emmett Till being kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Caroline Bryant’s husband, Roy Bryant and his half- brother J.W. Milam.
A few days later, Emmett Till’s mutilated body was discovered in the Tallhatchie River.
Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were charged with Emmett Till’s murder and in September 1955 their trial was held in the Tallahatchie County Courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi. They were both acquitted but later sold their story to Look Magazine, which published an article in its 24 January 1956 issue in which both Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam confessed to murdering Emmett Till, .
The Emmett Till murder became a very important event in American civil rights history. It has been written that the Emmett Till murder ignited the civil rights movement of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, resulting in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Here is a PBS documentary on the Emmett Till murder:
If you are travelling in Mississippi, here are some sites to visit which are associated with the Emmett Till murder:
Tallahatchie County Courthouse, Sumner, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi – was the site of the Emmett Till murder trial of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam in September 1955. A Mississippi Archives & History marker has been placed at the site and an Emmett Till Interpretive Centre has been opened in the court house.
Tutwiler Funeral Home, Tutwiler, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi – this building is now in ruins but in 1955 it was the Tutwiler Funeral Home where Emmett Till’s body was taken for preparation before being shipped to his mother in Chicago.
Here are some websites with more coverage of the Tim Tyson book, The Blood of Emmett Till:
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