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The Blood of Emmett Till

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  6,560 ratings  ·  1,047 reviews
In 1955, white men in the Mississippi Delta lynched a fourteen-year-old from Chicago named Emmett Till. His murder was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional. Only weeks later, Rosa Parks thought about young Emmett as she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomer ...more
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Simon & Schuster
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jv poore
Just shared this book with "my" high school seniors. To tell Emmett's story and to highlight his mother's courageous actions. This woman grabbed her grief and wielded it like a weapon. She made sure that every single soul the three television networks could reach saw the battered body of her boy. If she did not spark a revolution, she surely fanned the flames. ...more
Black Lives DON'T Matter.

This country has been going out of its way to prove that for centuries and continues till this very day. Black Lives have never mattered. Emmett Till may have been murdered over 60 years ago but in reality this country is still killing him today.

In Letters from a Birmingham Jail Dr. King writes that his worst enemies are not members of The Klan but "white moderates" who claim to support the goals of the movement but deplores its methods of protest.

Emmett Till became a
Montzalee Wittmann
The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson is an audible book I got from the library and I am not sure I am glad or not. I knew the story but not the details. I wanted to know but didn't want to know. It was so horrific, I didn't know if I could stand to hear it, to know that people stood by and let murderers go free. Did I want to live it? I did want to know because the world is turning backwards in any progress that has been made. Those of us that want the world to live in peace have to spre ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"We cannot transcend our past without confronting it."

"How do you give a crash course in hatred to a boy who has only known love?"
-- Mamie Till, mother of Emmett Till

Emmett Till. The boy whose lynching galvanized a global movement. Right now, the media seems to be afire with one of the revelations of this book: that Carolyn Bryant has finally admitted that she lied and that Emmett Till never accosted her. Other than her admission, that's not exactly a surprise. So what is the story of Emmett Ti
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
If Timothy Tyson's telling of Emmitt Till's brutal torture and killing had been as impassioned throughout as it was in the last chapter I would give it 5 stars, but it was not. The last chapter is an impassioned plea for progress against hate and the United State's institutionalization of racism.I

I already knew about 14 year old Emmitt Till's murder at the hands of white supremacists that was the catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement from the brilliant PBS series, Eyes on the Prize. Tyson does
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing, well documented book even though it made my blood boil with anger. Emmett Till is a 14 yo boy living in Chicago who went to visit his uncle in Mississippi. His mother warned him to be respectful to everyone all the time. He went to the corner store to buy candy and started talking to the white lady, Carolyn Bryant, at the counter. She then reported that he physically accosted her and verbally disrespected her. Her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half brother, JW Milam, kidnapped ...more
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

A painful, but important look at US history while asking ourselves "how much has really changed?"

Before going into this book, I had familiarity with the basics of the Emmett Till case, his horrific murder, and the gross miscarriage of justice after his death. Tyson's work provides much more detail about Till's family, the murderers' families, the impact of Till's death on the civil rights movement, and the reactions of other countries to the Till case.

Listening to the book on audio, th
Dec 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
There is no interview or what would constitute as an interview with Carolyn, the instigator of Emmett Till’s fate. Her autobiography or papers are sealed till 2038.

In the end TBOET adds nothing new to this tragedy.


Update: 21 January '17

This book is for you if you are between the ages of 18-25. This book is for you if you don’t know any better. This book is for you if you have never watched the 1990 14-part documentary “Eyes on the Prize”. This book is for you if you ha
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

The atrocities that occurred against Emmett Till and then against him again when our justice system failed him so spectacularly is enough to make a person sick with anger. This book lays out everything from what led Till to be in Mississippi in the first place all the way up to the events that followed the acquittal of his murderers. However between those events, this book does have a disappointing amount of, what can only be described as, filler. In chapter five for example there is a
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
There are probably few people who have not heard of Emmett Till and his horrific murder in 1955. This book, The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson, in my view, does not add a great deal to the knowledge that has been available for all of these years; but he DOES an excellent job of taking what is known about the murder of this 14 year-old boy and placing it in a broader national, international, political and social context.

In August, 1955 14 year-old Emmett Till left his mother, Mamie Till
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
In 1955 an all-white male jury found the two white defendants not guilty of killing a black boy even though they had confessed to the crime. This is one of the worst incidents of “Southern Justice” in our nation’s history. The victim was a fourteen-year-old black boy from Chicago who was visiting a relative in Mississippi. The boy who had polio when younger was accused of provoking a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, with a wolf whistle and flirtation. Her husband, Roy Brant and her half -brother, J. ...more
I Be Reading
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Meh. This definitely is not the definitive book about Emmett Till and I'm not sure it added anything to the story about him that we didn't already know. It appears all the hype and hullabaloo around the author getting accessory to murder Carolyn Bryant to talk was just that: hype to promote a pretty basic book. ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
My first experience learning about Emmett Till was by reading the historical fiction book, Wolf Whistle, by Lewis Nordan. It's a wonderful read that exposed me to an event I never knew took place. Tyson's work is nonfiction and does an excellent job putting the facts into a very readable text. Nordan and Tyson's works are great companion pieces that I highly recommend. ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In the summer of 1955 Emmett Till went to visit relatives in Mississippi and was kidnapped and brutally murdered after being accused of offending a white woman. The senseless killing of Emmett Till is heartbreaking and horrifying and one I will never forget.

Thank you Netgalley, Timothy B. Tyson and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read this book.
The Blood of Emmett Till: When Will We Ever Learn?

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson was chosen as a group read by members of On the Southern Literary Trail for November, 2017. Come join us.

Full Review to Follow
Steven Z.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At a time when the “Black Lives Matter” movement continues to gain momentum it is interesting to contemplate what the turning point was for the Civil Rights Movement. In his new book THE BLOOD OF EMMETT TILL, Timothy B. Tyson argues that the lynching of Emmett Till on August 28, 1955, by two white men in rural Mississippi was the tipping point. It appears their actions were in part motivated by the 1954 Supreme Court’s Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, KA decision outlawing “separate bu ...more
Dee's Reading Zone
The rage I'm feeling after reading Timothy Tyson's "The Blood of Emmett Till" is still boiling raw yet the history of this hate-infested crime in so many ways continues on in 21st century America in other ways against POC due to power and privilege!

"My name is being called on the road to freedom. I can hear the blood of Emmett Till as it calls from the ground…. When shall we go? Not tomorrow! Not at high noon! Now!"
-- Reverend Samuel Wells

"They had to see what I had seen. The whole nation had
Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -
Learning about Emmett Till is important, without question, but the epilogue of this is what knocked me to my knees.

a sample...

"America is still killing Emmett Till, and often for the same reasons that drove the violent segregationists of the 1950s and 1960s. Yes, some things have changed; the kind of violence that snatched Till’s life strikes only rarely. A white supremacist gunman slaughtering nine black churchgoers in a prayer meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2014, however, reminds us
Tom Mathews
When asked to think of a picture of a truly heroic action, many people will think of the lone Chinese protester facing off a row of tanks in Tiananmen Square. After finishing Timothy B. Tyson’s magnificent new book, I now see a different picture.

As photographs go it isn’t much but the story behind it makes shivers run down my spine. The image is of Moses Wright, a lanky black sharecropper and great uncle of 14-year-old Emmett Till. In the photograph the 64-year old Wright, standing tall in a wh
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, overdrive
This is what happens when you do a lot of research about what was sold in the country stores but you still don't manage to add anything new to the conversation about a famous lynching. Read it if you don't know anything of the history of Emmett Till. The story is a tragedy and the fact that the instigator got to be an old lady, still lying, is infuriating to say the least. However, I found this book to be a boring rehash. ...more
Roxie |The Book Slayer| Voorhees
I will never get used to the sound of a white man saying the n-word.

This tragic story is only one of too many the Black community has dealt with over the last 400 years. As a profound ally to the #blacklivesmatter movement, it breaks my heart to relive such blatant disregard for another human's life.

I can only put myself in Emmett's Momma's shoes the entire time I read this.This is why I read fantasy and horror fiction. Now back to my regularly scheduled break of reality.
Natalie Richards
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-book
I hadn't heard of this book, or Emmett Till until recently. Lynched and murdered by white men in August 1955 in Mississippi, aged just 14. His brave mother made sure he would be known and remembered and not be just another black person lynched and forgotten. Weeks later, thinking of Emmett, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus and a movement was born. A very important book. ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I can’t even explain the rage I felt reading this book
Mar 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Despite a reference to Trayvon Martin, this book seems like it was written over a decade ago. It might have seemed radical and revelatory to some (maybe even me) if it had come out years ago. But I read this book immediately after reading Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. In The Blood of Emmett Till, Tyson quotes Ta-Nehisi Coates. But Tyson seems to be in a different century from Kendi and Coates.

Like m
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 04-star, 2018, library
"To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time" - James Baldwin

This quote perfectly encapsulates my existence at the moment. When I think of all the grave injustices that have been done to black people it makes me physically ill. I had to read this book in chunks because it's too much (emotionally) to digest in a couple sittings. It made me angry, sad and tearful.

I've known about Emmett Till for many years but just recently have I been trying
Rough, raw and real. It was a hard listen but necessary. There was more historical facts and events inlcuded than just the story of Emmett Till, which I appreciated. It's hard to imagine that these things were occurring in the 50s, I mean the 50s weren't that long ago! I wasn't alive but my mother was and she was almost the same age as Emmett Till. I can't imagine growing up in such a racially tense, segregated and unequal time. We still deal with racism but of course it's more concealed and we ...more
Feb 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book should not be purchased until the proceeds are to be forwarded to the family of Emmett Till or to a charity in his name. The only people who should be profiting off of this story is Emmitt Till. Not the woman who caused his death or the author and publishing company exploiting it. This is information that should be freely publicized to exonerate Emmitt Till and inform the public. That awful woman that caused a childs torture and death should be put on trial for committing purgury and b ...more
A meticulously-researched book about the kidnapping and lynching of 14-year old, Chicagoan Emmett Till, while visiting his family in Mississippi in 1955. Sadly, the book was focused more on the consequences than the events, since the only living person who knows what actually happened (Carolyn Brant) won't say or doesn't remember. Only a few characters were developed, making the book largely uninteresting: mother, uncle, and the local Sheriff. I fear that the "us versus them" racist mentality of ...more
Ashley Marie
The story of Emmett Till should be required in every US history course and every social studies course. As the epilogue pointed out, white supremacy still has a stranglehold on our country, as evidenced by Ferguson, Charleston, Charlottesville, and so many more sprees where whites continue to believe, and aggressively assert said belief, that they are better than anyone else.
Craig Werner
Great, needed book. The hook, which has been emphasized in almost every media account, is that Tyson, one of the two or three most important historians of race working today, interviewed the "woman in the case," who admits that she made up and embellished most of the detail that contributed to Till's lynching. The fact is that anyone even vaguely conversant with the racial situation in Mississippi pretty much knew that without the confession. The real importance of the confession is that it will ...more
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Timothy B. Tyson is Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Visiting Professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture at Duke Divinity School, and adjunct professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina. He is the author of The Blood of Emmett Till, a New York Times bestseller; Blood Done Sign My Name, a finalist for the National B ...more

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