Emmett Till was a 14 year old African-American boy who was murdered on August 28, 1955. Emmett was visiting in Money, Mississippi. On August 24.1955 Emmett and some other boys went to Roy and Carolyn Bryant’s small store to get some candy and soda. Witnesses say that Emmett talked to her and may have whistled on his way out the door. He was kidnapped four days later from his great uncles home by Roy Bryant and his brother in law J.W. Milam. Bryant and Milam then beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. He was found three days later with barbwire around his neck and a cotton fan on the barbwire to hold his body down. He had an open casket funeral because his mother insisted, “Let the world see what I have seen.”
Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were put on trial for Emmett’s murder. The trial began on September 19, 1955. There was a 12 man white jury and they let Bryant and Milam off. In 1965 Milam admitted to killing Emmett with Bryant in a magazine interview. Later, Milam and Bryant both died of cancer, Milam in 1980 and Bryant in 1994.
In 2004 they were trying to reopen the Emmett Till case because they believe that other people were assisting Bryant and Milam in killing Emmett. In 2005 they unburied the body examined it in an autopsy and they reburied the body. No charges were filed. They went before a grand jury and the was not enough evidence and they had to close the case once again.
Civil Rights Movement Home Page