The Blood of Emmett Till

The Blood of Emmett Till

Book - 2017
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Part detective story, part political history, Timothy Tyson's The Blood of Emmett Till revises the history of the Till case, not only changing the specifics that we thought we knew, but showing how the murder ignited the modern civil rights movement. Tyson uses a wide range of new sources, including the only interview ever given by Carolyn Bryant; the transcript of the murder trial, missing since 1955 and only recovered in 2005; and a recent FBI report on the case.--
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, 2017
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781476714844
Branch Call Number: 364.134 T46t 2017
Characteristics: x, 291 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

This book sheds so much light on race relations in America even today. It was fascinating, enlightening, and gave me much to think about. - Laura

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Nov 25, 2019

This is a very detailed reconstruction of a pivotal moment in the US civil rights movement. But there is much that is new here, with the unearthed court transcripts and one of the only interviews with Carolyn Bryant since the case being the major cornerstones of the book that set it apart from others that have tackled the Emmett Till story.

Reading this book, it was really hard for me to believe that this all happened just over sixty years ago. It's a story from the dark ages.

Jun 17, 2019

After reading the reviews I've taken this off my list. I've known about Emmett Till for years and simply cannot bear to read or hear in detail again the horrific hate inflicted on this young man. It's bad enough that we're still living with this in 2019. Such wanton, hateful destruction.

Feb 03, 2019

Tyson, a Southerner himself, the son of a NC white preacher, had written a book about a killing of a black youth in his own home town 15 years after the killing of Emmett Till. That killing, like most, had gone unnoticed by the rest of the world. Carolyn Bryant, the "victim" of Till's "assault" in a rural grocery store, read his book, and she contacted him. She'd never given an interview, or spoken of Till after the trial. The details of what she said to Tyson are still unknown, because among the conditions of the interview were that they wouldn't be revealed until 2038, when, presumably, she would be dead. He did quote, with her permission, "He didn't deserve what they did to him."

What her husband and brother-in-law did to Emmett Till was horrendous, and Tyson discusses that in gruesome detail, much of that from the trial transcript, which disappeared for decades. Till, 14, was from a poor, all black neighborhood in Chicago. When he went to visit relatives in Mississippi, his mother tried to explain the relationship between the races there, and how he must behave while staying with his black preacher great uncle's family. Never having much interaction with whites, Till didn't quite get the message. Still, that didn't justify what happened to him. It was not what we think of as a lynching, where a black person is hung from a tree branch. Till was kidnapped from the preacher's home at night, tortured, shot, and his body dumped in the river loaded with a weight so it would never be found. Several days, the bloated body was found by teenage black kids who were fishing. In spite of its condition, he was recognizable. Blacks and whites knew who had killed him, and the trial was held too quickly for investigation to be done by the authorities. NAACP worked ceaselessly, along with the FBI, to find the evidence. The jury was all white, all male, with orders to drag out the deliberations, but to bring in an acquittal. They did. The town, and all of Mississippi, rejoiced with pride. But Mamie, Emmett's mother, had had his body shipped north, and his open-casket funeral in Chicago brought thousands. Rallies from NYC to LA to Miami to Milwaukie brought in money. The shame the incident brought on the US sped across the globe, and was the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. I'd heard of the story, but this book enlightened me, especially today, when we don't seem to have made much progress.

Nov 05, 2018

The Blood of Emmett Till was a amazing book and I really enjoyed reading about it. It was interesting to have the author write about his interview with the “victaim” Carolyn Bryant to get the real story. There was details that were left out like how did they kill him or explaining more of how he was just taken from his house and no one tried to stop him at all. But overall it was good to read about the trail and how it was a majority white men on the jury. Also how his mother let there be a open casket for people and the world to see what they had done to her child. I would recommend this book into anyone that like reading about history or case of black men.

May 01, 2017

"Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him."-Carolyn Bryant Donham
The story of Emmett Till is well-known: Till, an African-American teenager from Chicago, was visiting relatives in Mississippi and talked to a white woman in a store named Carolyn Bryant. She claimed he said vulgar things to her and, simply on her testimony, he was kidnapped and brutally murdered. His killers went free. Timothy Tyson's new book opens with an interview with Bryant, now repentant and saying that nothing happened, certainly nothing to justify Till's murder. Aside from telling the story in detail, Tyson excels at capturing the racial climate of the time and setting the murder in its social and historical context. A story that should never be forgotten.

ArapahoeLesley Mar 29, 2017

This is an enlightening book especially for people like me who knew almost nothing about about Emmett Till. I'm shocked that I knew so little about this subject... why was I not taught this in school? Tyson's well researched and well written book is one of many that have come out recently that all people should read.


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