Editors Note: In the long history of man's inhumanity
to man, racial conflict has produced some of the most
horrible examples of brutality. The recent slaying of
Emmett Till in Mississippi is a case in point. The
are convinced that they are presenting
here, for the first time, the real story of that killing --
the story no jury heard and no newspaper reader saw.
Disclosed here is the true account of the slaying in
Mississippi of a Negro youth named Emmett Till.
Last September in Sumner, Miss., a petit jury found
the youth's admitted abductors not guilty of murder.
In November, in Greenwood, a grand jury declined to
indict them for kidnapping.
Of the murder trial, the Memphis
said: "Evidence necessary for convicting on a murder
charge was lacking." But with truth absent, hypocrisy
and myth have flourished. Now, hypocrisy can be
exposed; myth dispelled. Here are the facts.
Carolyn Holloway Bryant is 21, five feet tall, weighs
103 pounds. An Irish girl, with black hair and black
eyes, she is a small farmer's daughter who, at 17, quit
high school at Indianola, Miss., to marry a soldier,
Roy Bryant, then 20, now 24. The couple have two
boys, three and two; and they operate a store at a
dusty crossroads called Money: post office, filling
station and three stores clustered around a school and
a gin, and set in the vast, lonely cotton patch that is
the Mississippi Delta.
Carolyn and Roy Bryant are poor: no car, no TV.
They live in the back of the store which Roy's
brothers helped set up when he got out of the 82nd
Airborne in 1953. They sell "snuff-and-fatback" to
Negro field hands on credit: and they earn little
because, for one reason, the government has been
giving the Negroes food they formerly bought.
Carolyn and Roy Bryant's social life is visits to their
families, to the Baptist church, and, whenever they
can borrow a car, to a drive-in, with the kids sleeping
in the back seat. They call
the best picture they
For extra money, Carolyn tends store when Roy
works outside -- like truck driving for a brother. And
he has many brothers. His mother had two husbands,
11 children. The first five -- all boys -- were "Milam
children"; the next six -- three boys, three girls --
were "Bryant children."
This is a lusty and devoted clan. They work, fight,
vote and play as a family. The "half" in their
fraternity is forgotten. For years, they have operated a
chain of cottonfield stores, as well as trucks and
mechanical cotton pickers. In relation to the Negroes,
they are somewhat like white traders in portions of
Africa today; and they are determined to resist the
revolt of colored men against white rule.
On Wednesday evening, August 24, 1955, Roy was
in Texas, on a brother's truck. He had carted shrimp
from New Orleans to San Antonio, proceeded to
Brownsville. Carolyn was alone in the store. But
back in the living quarters was her sister-in-law
Juanita Milam, 27, with her two small sons and
Carolyn's two. The store was kept open till 9 on week