In a crime of racial hatred that served as a catalyst for the burgeoning civil rights movement, the White woman at the center of the offense has admitted to greatly exaggerating claims about Emmett Till, reports Boom 94.
The Blood of Emmett Till, a new book by Timothy Tyson, claims that Carolyn Bryant Donham admitted to lying about Till whistling at her, prompting a mob of White men to pursue and kill him in Money, Mississippi, at the height of Jim Crow laws in 1955.
“Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Donham is quoted as saying in the book, writes the New York Daily News:
The woman’s husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Miliam, were charged with murdering Till, whose mutilated body was found in the muddy Tallahatchie River.
Boom94 notes that the killing was a pivotal movement in the Civil Rights Movement: “Especially, when his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, made the bold move to show the world her son’s disfigured body in an open casket funeral. The impact of this decision would influence JET Magazine to make the powerful image a cover story that ignited the fight for Civil Rights.”