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Woman Who Caused Emmett Till’s Murder Admits to Lying

Emmett Louis Till was a Black teenager who was lynched in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman. The white woman, Carolyn Bryant, claimed that Emmett whistled at her. This enraged some whites in the area and led to Emmett being murdered in August of 1955 by two white men, J.W. Milam and his half-brother Roy Bryant.

As the story goes, Emmett, who was visiting family in Mississippi, had gone into a store to buy some bubble gum. As he was leaving, he is said to have whistled at the the 21-year-old Carolyn.

Carolyn’s husband and his half-brother Milam, took it upon themselves to abduct the young boy. They later admitted to beating, mutilating, and shooting the 14-year-old to death. Emmett’s mother insisted on having an open-casket funeral for her disfigured son so that the world could witness the brutality of white supremacy.

Milam and Bryant were arrested for Emmett’s death but an all-white, all-male jury found them not guilty in a little over an hour. As the men stood trial, Carolyn Bryant testified that Emmett “had grabbed her and verbally threatened her. She said that while she was unable to utter the ‘unprintable’ word he had used … ‘he said [he had]’—done something – ‘with white women before.’”


The jury didn’t hear Carolyn Bryant’s testimony because the judge ruled that it was not relevant to Emmett’s murder. The result was the same and her testimony was still heard by court spectators and put on the record because the defense wanted to use it as evidence in case of an appeal if the defendants happened to be convicted.

Recently, Vanity Fair reported that Carolyn Bryant-Donham has broken her long lasting silence about the evens that transpired that day.

In a new book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” author Timothy Tyson reveals that in 2007 Donham, at the age of 72, admitted that she had made up the most damning part of her testimony.

“That part’s not true,” Donham reportedly told Tyson about her claim that Emmett made verbal and physical advances toward her.

Conveniently, according to Vanity Fair, she said that she couldn’t remember the rest of what happened that August evening in the store. The news site noted that the now-82-year-old’s whereabouts have been kept a secret by her family.

Tyson’s book is due to be published next week by Simon & Schuster. And according to Vanity Fair, although several other authors have written about Emmett’s story, no one, with the exception of Tyson, has ever had the opportunity to interview Donham. Both her ex-husband and brother-in-law are now dead.

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George June 11, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Emmett Till you were angel who was to good for this messed up world. I hope your doing all the things you love and liven your peace like you should of been able to here may you rest in peace with your mama and not have to think of the terriable things that should of never happened.

I didnt what to put this on the same message because this is for emmett but i didnt know how to send two but you know and i know one thing there is a special place in hell for this down right evil attention seeking women next to her scum of ex-husband and brother they say revenge and angry solves nothing but it feels my heart with hope knowing these pieces of scum will never see the light of day again and will have the devil laught in their minds at their misery. Justice may not be served here but hopefully it is after death, I am not even religious but never have I wanted to be more

CivilRights #equality June 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm

George your comment is beautiful I see so many comments on here and they are full of swearing hate and wanting revenge as rightly so In ways,but yours is for emmett till and his happiness now in peace it’s real sweet maybe it’s your atheism that makes you like it as Christian it’s lovely to see☺
RIP Emmett Till I to hope you and your mother are happy in gods safe warm keeping we’ll keep your memory in our heart’s and keep fight against hatred

Lyla May 1, 2018 at 1:59 pm

George your comment is beautiful. I wish every one was as sweet as you.

Mike McClure September 27, 2018 at 9:15 am

Chicago Black Panther Fred Hampton who knew Emmett Till said that he didn’t think that Till whistled at her but that the woman mistook Emmett’s lisp .

Vic May 28, 2019 at 7:21 am

What does the living J.W Milam’s family think about their father’s or grand father’s act ?

Shannon Manuel Sr. September 9, 2019 at 8:54 am

Murder has no time frame so I believe that his family should pay for the negligence in the lies that they did all these years against him put them to lie and they killed him they all said murder has no limitation in time so with the admittance even though she’s older and not able to go to jail I would sue them you get some kind of repec with reparations from their family. Is way less more than the justice that should get.

Talla November 17, 2019 at 9:56 pm

Carole Bryant should not be allowed to profit from her book sales. All proceeds should go towards the Till estate’s survivors.

Rashan Jones January 10, 2020 at 3:21 pm

My family hasn’t ever received any type of apology from these people nor The State of Mississippi for the Miscarriage of Justice. You Authors are gaining financial wealth for telling a part of My family’s history and have yet to pay due respect to the living survivors of his family while being a constant reminder of hurt. R.Nasir Jones Grandson of Junita Gary His Oldest and only Aunt.


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