The blood of Emmett Till and the new investigation of his murder
Article By CBN News
The federal government has reopened its investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till, the black teenager brutally killed by two white men in Mississippi in 1955.
The Justice Department submitted a report to Congress in late March to renew its investigation "based upon the discovery of new information" from a 2017 book named The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson.
The book quotes a white woman, Carolyn Donham, who admitting during a 2008 interview that she wasn't truthful when she testified more than 60 years ago.
Her original claim was that 14-year-old Till grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances toward her, and that claim had inspired two men to kidnap and murder Till.
Before he died, Till's younger cousin, Simeon Wright, sat down with CBN News in 2010 to recount the horrible day.
"At the age of 12, imagine going to sleep at night and waking up the next day and your whole world is upside down," Wright said.
Till had traveled from Chicago to Mississippi to visit Wright that summer. They were sleeping in the same room when two men, J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, showed up at their home and kidnapped Till.
Bryant owned the country store where Till and his cousins had stopped to buy candy a few days earlier.
Wright told CBN News, "Emmett and I, we were in the store together, and we had walked out of the store. Mrs. Bryant came out behind us, and she was walking towards her car and Emmett whistled at her and it scared us half to death."
Wright said the whistling at Carolyn Bryant, who was quoted in Tyson's 2017 book, was a joke to Till who was always trying to make his cousins laugh.
Wright said Till didn't understand the unspoken rules of the segregated south.
"Color didn't mean anything to him," Wright told CBN News in 2010. "You are a human being. We are all the same. So, he grew up like that."
Till's body was found three days later in the Tallahatchie River tied to a cotton gin.
An all-white jury found Milam and Bryant not guilty in the murder trial, and there was never a trial for the kidnapping.
"I was enraged and embittered by the verdict," Wright said. "I saw for the first time the evil that was in the heart of the segregationists."
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