Looking Back On Emmett Till Case 63 Years Later

Jul 17, 2018

The U.S. Department of Justice has reopened the murder case of Emmett Till, the African-American teenager killed the summer of 1955. The 14-year old was from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi. He was kidnapped, tortured, and killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman.


Carolyn Bryant Donham accused Till of grabbing and whistling at her. Her then-husband, Roy Bryant, and his brother, J.W. Milam, were both charged with Till’s murder, but were acquitted. Till’s death helped sparked the Civil Rights Movement. We spoke with author and historian Timothy B. Tyson about his book, "The Blood of Emmett Till." Tyson revealed Donham admitted to lying about claims that Till had grabbed and whistled at her. We also spoke with Pulitzer-prize winning author, Hank Klibanoff. He talked about his cold case project at Emory. Hank is co-author of "The Race Beat: The Press, The Civil Rights Struggle, and The Awakening Of A Nation."

Katina Rankin joined the conversation. She’s an award-winning journalist who recently wrote "Emmett Till: Sometimes Good Can Come Out Of A Bad Situation."