White Woman Who Accused Emmett Till Recants Testimony That Led to His Horrific Lynching

ALSIP, IL - MAY 4:  A plaque marks the gravesite of Emmett Till at Burr Oak Cemetery May 4, 2005 in Aslip, Illinois. The FBI is considering exhuming the body of Till, whose unsolved 1955 murder in Money, Mississippi, after whistling at a white woman helped spark the U.S. civil rights movement.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

White Woman Who Accused Emmett Till Recants Testimony That Led to His Horrific Lynching

Here's how Carolyn Bryant Donham now feels about the teen's killing.

Published January 27, 2017

Nearly 62 years ago, the Black community was devastated by the torturous murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till. While walking down the street in Mississippi, Till encountered a passing white woman, who in turn claimed that he assaulted her in her husband's store. Days later, her husband and brother-in-law beat Till within an inch of his life and then lynched him. Now, the woman has decided to finally admit that she fabricated the story, reported Vanity Fair

  1. In trial, Carolyn Bryant Donham's testimony of abuse led to the acquittal of her husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother, John William

    Bryant alleged that Till used an “unprintable” to describe the fact that he had been “with white women before.”

    However, in a new book titled The Blood of Emmett Till by author Timothy Tyson, Donham is quoted as saying, “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him." 

    Additionally, Tyson, a Duke University senior research scholar, revealed that Donham admitted to fabricating her story when she met with him in 2007.

    “That part’s not true,” she told Tyson in regards to her claim that Till made physical and graphic verbal advances. 

    Later on, the then 72-year-old explained that she could not remember the details of what else happened in the country store. 

  2. When news of the recanted story was made public, many expressed anger
  3. Many believe she should face punishment for lying while on the stand
  4. It's clear that after all these years, the death of Emmett Till still strikes a visceral chord in many
  5. And Carolyn's new statement does not give us any information we did not already know
  6. It should also be remembered that although acquitted, Till's murderers gave a confession to a magazine

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)


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