White Lies: Woman at the Center of Emmett Till’s Torture and Murder Admits she Lied


Emmett Till’s story is such a heart wrenching story known by many in the African American community. During a time when racism was not hidden a black child was tortured to death by two white men with no shame or remorse for their crime. While a town full of white people supported and praised their actions.

In August of 1955, Milan and Roy Bryant murdered, 14-year old, Emmett Till. It was alleged that after the young boy had bought bubble gum from the store, he whistled at 21-year old Bryant’s wife, Carolyn. Out of fury, Bryant and his step-brother, abducted Till. Till’s body was later found floating in a river and was severely disfigured.

Emmett Till’s murder triggered a massive civil rights movement. But the Mississippi court, whose judge and jury were all white, found the Bryant boys “not guilty” of this deplorable crime despite the fact that brothers admitted to killing Till. The lies of a white woman meant more than the life of a young black boy.


Yes her lies. Author Timothy Tyson spoke with Carolyn and accounts in his book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” that Carolyn admits that she lied. Are any of us shocked, not really? This was very common in those days and even goes back to slavery times. White women would come on to black men and boys and when rejected they would cry rape and the black man or boy would be wiped or lynched.

Black men have been painted as barbaric for years, painted as creatures that want harm poor defenseless white women. The narrative of who the barbarians are has slowly been unveiled over the years but we still live in a time where white is right and can do no wrong.


PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.

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