Carolyn Bryant Donham had been a central figure in the killing of Chicago’s Emmett Till.
In August of 1955, while visiting family in Mississippi, Emmett Till had entered a store to buy two cents worth of bubble gum. Shortly after exiting it was said he may have whistled at Bryant’s 21-year-old white wife, Carolyn.
Enraged, two white men, J.W. Milam and his half-brother Roy Bryant, took matters into their own hands.
They would confess to local authorities that they’d abducted the young Chicago boy.
When they were done, the body of Emmett Till, just 14 years old, grossly disfigured from having been brutalized, beaten and shot was found.
A photo was published in Jet magazine.
The photo helped fire up a Movement.
Even so, in September of 1955, in a racially segregated courtroom in Sumner, Mississippi, the two white men who admitted to killing Emmett Till were acquitted of his murder.
For decades, nothing was heard from Donham.
Then in his 2017 book, The Blood of Emmett Till, Tim Tyson, a Duke University researcher, revealed that in 2007 Carolyn at the age 72, and for the first time, admitted to him that she had lied about the story that Till had made any verbal and physical advances on her.
Tyson’s reveal made headlines across the country.
Tim Tyson will be with us on Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers, Friday, September 20th, live at 11am. 105.5fm in Chicago. Streaming globally on http://www.lumpenradio.com and podcast/archived at hittingleft.libsyn.com.
Also joining us will be gospel great, Mary D. Williams.