Vanity Fair Writer Reveals White Woman In Emmitt Till Case Admitted Lying On Him
We’re not sure we can get more disgusted right now. Emmitt Till died a cruel and undeserved death at the hands of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam. The two men were the husband and brother-in-law of Carolyn Bryant, the Mississippi woman who was keeping shop in August of 1955 when 14-year-old Till, visiting from Chicago, walked into her store along with another relative. He bought two cents worth of bubblegum and when he left, he allegedly whistled. But on the stand, during the trial that would later acquit Bryant and Milam of killing Till, Carolyn Bryant spoke lies that she only came clean about ten years ago — which is a whole 10 years before the rest of us learned she did. SMH.
Her “truth” is now coming out only because Vanity Fair just published an article about Timothy Tyson’s new book, “The Blood of Emmitt Till” where Tyson does what we probably should expect and defends this wretched woman of being guilty of doing what white folks do when white folks were accustomed to walking around being real-life monsters.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
On the stand, she had asserted that Till had grabbed her and verbally threatened her. She said that while she was unable to utter the “unprintable” word he had used (as one of the defense lawyers put it), “he said [he had]’”—done something – “with white women before.’” Then she added, “I was just scared to death.” A version of her damning allegation was also made by the defendant’s lawyers to reporters. (The jury did not hear Carolyn’s words because the judge had dismissed them from the courtroom while she spoke, ruling that her testimony was not relevant to the actual murder. But the court spectators heard her, and her testimony was put on the record because the defense wanted her words as evidence in a possible appeal in the event that the defendants were convicted.)
Down through the decades, Carolyn Bryant Donham (she would divorce, then marry twice more) was a mystery woman. An attractive mother of two young boys, she had spent approximately one minute alone with Till before, in view of others, the alleged whistling had occurred. (He may not have whistled; he was said to have a lisp.) Carolyn then dropped out of sight, never speaking to the media about the incident. But she is hidden no more. In a new book, The Blood of Emmett Till (Simon & Schuster), Timothy Tyson, a Duke University senior research scholar, reveals that Carolyn—in 2007, at age 72—confessed that she had fabricated the most sensational part of her testimony. “That part’s not true,” she told Tyson, about her claim that Till had made verbal and physical advances on her. As for the rest of what happened that evening in the country store, she said she couldn’t remember. (Carolyn is now 82, and her current whereabouts have been kept secret by her family.)
“That case went a long way toward ruining her life,” Tyson contends, explaining that she could never escape its notoriety. His compelling book is suffused with information that Donham, over coffee and pound cake, shared with him in what he calls a “confessional” spirit.
View this post on Instagram
It was September of 1955 when #EmmettTill arrived in Summer, #Mississippi, from #Chicago before he was brutally murdered by #JWMilam and his half-brother #RoyBryant. Till had apparently done something, likely whistling at Bryant’s wife, Carolyn, and three nights later, Bryant and Milam abducted Till and beat and shot him to the point that he was so badly disfigured that the horrifying description would help rally #civilrights cries across the nation. During the trial, #carolynbryant that she was “just scared to death.” She claimed that Till had grabbed her and threatened her with an “unprintable” word. The #jury didn’t hear her testimony, but court spectators did, and it was also published on the record to be used in evidence in an appeal if Mila and Bryant were convicted. But Mila and Bryant were both found “#notguilty.” While Carolyn Bryant Donham largely remained out of the spotlight and never spoke to the public about what had happened, in his new book, The Blood of Emmett Till, Timothy Tyson managed to speak with her about that fateful day and about her damning testimony. “That part’s #nottrue,” she admitted of her claims to being assaulted and threatened. But as to whether or not he whistled at her, and what else happened that day, she claimed that she simply doesn’t remember anymore. Tyson, who had been approached by Carolyn because her daughter was an admirer of his work and because she was working on her own memoirs, noted that she seemed to have been changed over the years after the advances of the Civil Rights movement and other events. “She was glad things had changed [and she] thought the old system of white supremacy was wrong, though she had more or less taken it as normal at the time,” he wrote. Carolyn also said of Till’s death that “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” expressing her “tender sorrow” for what had happened. It’s the closest to an official apology she has ever come, as she has never publicly been part of reconciliation efforts and has not appeared at the Emmett Till Interpretive Center. #blackexcellence #rbg #foodforthought #problack #blackisbeautiful #blackboyjoy #blackmenrocks #smh #America
In case you missed that — Tyson seems to think that WE should feel EMPATHY for this wretched woman for having her “life” ruined. The fact that this woman still has a life when Till lost his so many years ago seems to escape him.
It’s also worth noting that this wretch only admitted her lies because she was writing a book.
Carolyn, in fact, had approached Tyson because she was writing her memoirs. (Her manuscript is in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill library archives and will not be available for public view until 2036, according to Tyson.) Her daughter had admired Tyson’s earlier book, Blood Does Sign My Name, about another racism-inspired murder committed by someone known to Tyson’s family. And Tyson himself, a Southern preacher’s son, says that when he sat down with Carolyn, she “could have fit in at a Tyson family reunion”—even at its local church. Clearly, he observed, she had been altered by the social and legal advances that had overtaken the South in the intervening half century. “She was glad things had changed [and she] thought the old system of white supremacy was wrong, though she had more or less taken it as normal at the time.” She didn’t officially repent; she was not the type to join any racial reconciliation groups or to make an appearance at the new Emmett Till Interpretive Center, which attempts to promote understanding of the past and point a way forward.
But as Carolyn became reflective in Timothy Tyson’s presence, wistfully volunteering, “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him.” She also admitted she “felt tender sorrow,” Tyson would note, “for Mamie Till-Mobley”—Emmett Till’s mother, who died in 2003 after a lifetime spent crusading for civil rights. (She had bravely insisted that her son’s casket remain open at his funeral in order to show America what had been done to him.) “When Carolyn herself [later] lost one of her sons, she thought about the grief that Mamie must have felt and grieved all the more.” Tyson does not say whether Carolyn was expressing guilt. Indeed, he asserts that for days after the murders, and until the trial, she was kept in seclusion by her husband’s family. But that “tender sorrow” does sound, in its way, like late-blooming regret.
SMH. Anybody give AF about her tender sorrow? Just shame on this whole situation to even act like this coward of a woman who is still in hiding deserves any kind of credit for her regretful euphemisms.
Carolyn Bryant needs to issue a formal apology. Carolyn Bryant DESERVES to be prosecuted — at the very LEAST for perjury. Carolyn Bryant’s memoirs, when and if they are ever published, should go to the family of Emmitt Till or to preserving his memory.
And Timothy Tyson should be ASHAMED for his empathy toward Carolyn Tyson, his sympathetic portrayal for her and his betrayal to the public by not coming forward sooner.
THE NERVE of some folks.