The Fabrication that Led to Emmett Till Torture/Murder

New information about Emmett Till’s interaction with Carolyn Bryant Donham has surfaced in Timothy B. Tyson’s new book, “The Blood of Emmett Till.” In a 2008 interview with Donham, Tyson asked questions about what had actually happened in the local Money, Mississippi market. Donham had kept her silence about the case until the interview.

Her most stunning admittance was that she lied in her court testimony about 14-year-old Till “grabb[ing] her around the waist and utter[ing] obscenities.” You know, just a minute detail.

Although this is speculation, this fabrication of the truth by Donham was most likely uttered to her then-husband, who along with his half-brother, J.W. Milam, savagely kidnapped, tortured and murdered the innocent teenager. And (again speculation) her tiny creation may have been the trigger that pushed her husband and his half-brother to actually go forth with their horrible act.

This doesn’t really change anything. What-ifs are unrealistic. But, this just shows the true evil in which people are capable. Till’s murderers got off scot free, while a mother in Chicago, who was worried about her son visiting the south, lost her son.

This isn’t totally incomprehensible. It happened in the South before the Civil Rights Movement really kicked into full gear. When Mamie Till Mobley had her son’s almost unidentifiable body shown in an open casket, over 100,000 people viewed it. Then came Emmett’s killers’ description of how they murdered the young teen. They showed no remorse.

Till’s death definitely fueled much of the Civil Rights Movement, showing the atrocities that were still possible in the United States. These atrocities still happen in our country. The deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown are just a few examples of victims of our racist system. Their deaths have also sparked debate throughout our country, raising awareness of the inequality going on in America. The fact that people can get away with such horrors just goes to show that we have a while to go in the fight for equality.


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