IN 1955 Emmett Till was horrifically lynched to death by two white men in Mississippi for allegedly hitting on a white woman.
The 14-year-old African boy was wrongfully accused of offending Carolyn Bryant as she worked in her family’s grocery store.
Who is Carolyn Bryant and what happened with Emmett Till?
Hailing from Indianola, Mississippi, Carolyn Bryant was a high school drop out who married Roy Bryant, an ex-soldier.
During the 1950s, the couple ran a small grocery, Bryant's Grocery & Meat Market, that sold provisions to black sharecroppers and their children.
They had two sons and lived in two small rooms in the back of the store.
On the evening of August 24, 1955, Carolyn was on shift when young Emmet entered the shop with his friends for refreshments.
Known as a prankster, Till had previously bragged to his cousins that he had a white girlfriend back home and was dared to ask Carolyn, a white woman, out on a date.
Though exactly what happened next is uncertain, Carolyn later claimed that the teen grabbed her, made lewd advances, and whistled at her as he left.
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When Bryant's husband, Roy returned to town a few days later he rushed over to Till's family house with his half-brother J.W. Milam and forced Till into their car.
After beating him, they drove him down to the Tallahatchie River where they made him carry a 75-pound cotton gin fan to the bank and then ordered him to take off his clothes.
The two men beat him nearly to death, gouged out his eye, shot him in the head, and then threw his body, tied to the cotton gin fan with barbed wire, into the river where his body was discovered three days later.
They were acquitted of murder by a local, all-white jury but confessed to murdering Till a year later to a journalist at Look magazine.
The pair never served any jail time.
Where is Carolyn Bryant now?
After making the accusation that led to Till’s brutal murder, Carolyn stepped away from the spotlight.
She later divorced Roy and remarried twice – persistently declining interview requests from the media.
But roughly 60 years after the incident took place, Tim Tyson, author of the book The Blood Of Emmett Till, revealed that Carolyn recanted her testimony during a memoir.
She confessed that the accusations that Till touched, threatened, or harassed her were "not true".
She later added: “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him.”
Born in 1934, Carolyn – who is now in her 80s – is still believed to be alive.
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