Per LoveBScott, Carolyn Bryant, the woman at the center of the brutal murder of Emmett Till, has confessed for the first time that she LIED the most sensational part of her testimony.
Carolyn — now Carolyn Bryant Donham — has never spoken to the press since testifying in the murder trial of her then-husband, Roy Bryant. Roy and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, were both acquitted in the murder and torture of 14-year-old Emmitt Till in back in 1955.
After their acquittal, the pair gloated about what they’d done to Look magazine, saying they basically had no choice but to kill the Emmitt for his actions towards Carolyn. They were paid $3,600 for their interview.
Carolyn eventually divorced Roy Bryant and remarried twice over the years. In speaking to author Timothy Tyson , a Duke University senior research scholar and auther, she confessed that she made up the most damning part of her testimony.
via Vanity Fair:
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.)
Tyson’s book, to be published next week, was preceded by the definitive study of the case, Devery S. Anderson’s masterful Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement, which was published in 2015 by the University Press of Mississippi. (Last week, John Edgar Wideman’s meditation on Till, Writing to Save a Life, was named a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.) Still, no author save Tyson has ever interviewed Carolyn Bryant Donham. (Her ex-husband and brother-in-law are both dead.) “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.
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.