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The Blood of Emmett Till

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  3,554 Ratings  ·  642 Reviews
This reexamines a pivotal event of the civil rights movement—the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till. 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 ...more
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Simon Schuster
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Montzalee Wittmann
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I can’t even explain the rage I felt reading this book
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was tortured and murdered in 1955 by Roy Bryant and J. M. Milam of Money, Mississippi for supposedly violating Jim Crow laws in front of Bryant's wife, Carolyn. The young black boy's body was discovered three days later in the Tallahatchie River lashed to a cotton-gin with barbed wire. His body was returned to his mother, Mamie Till Bradley, in Chicago who held an open casket which brought attention to the persecution of black Americans in the South to the world's a ...more
Queeniesha Scott
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
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"After all, how do you give a crash course in hatred to a boy who has only known love?" -Mamie Bradley

"Emmet Till's death was an extreme example of the logic of America's national racial caste system. To look beneath the surface of these facts is to ask ourselves what our relationship is today to the legacies of that caste system-legacies that still end the lives of young African Americans for no reason other than the color of their American skin and the content of our national character... Ask
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, biography
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
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
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Largely well-written and researched. Entering this book with next to no prior knowledge about Emmett Till, I found it very informative. I also liked that the book gave a very detailed account of the conditions and atmosphere of race relations in Mississippi, Chicago and other parts of the US before, during and after Emmett Till's senseless murder and the subsequent shameful verdict.

However, I didn't like that large parts of the narrative consisted of direct quotations extracted from numerous ot
Leo Walsh
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you want to really, truly understand what life was like in the Jim Crow south, read Timothy Tyson's excellent THE BLOOD OF EMMETT TILL. I was blown away by the book's power. It lays bare the violent, sadistic actions white people took against black people... in the name of "white purity" and "the southern way of life."

For the uninitiated, Emmitt was a 14-year-old black kid from Chicago summering with his mother's people in rural Mississippi. He spoke to a white woman clerk at a small grocery
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I’m going to struggle with this review a bit because 85% percent of the book is extremely well written and a fascinating narrative about one of the more heinous incidents in American history.
In 1955, 14 year old Emmett Till left his mother in Chicago for the summer to spend time with his uncle on the Mississippi Delta. One day Emmett wandered into a store where a young Carolyn Bryant, a white woman, was behind the counter. What happened after that is unclear and largely depends on whose story
Renée | Book Girl Magic
Whew. This book was A LOT to take in but it was a story that has intrigued me for many years and I'm glad I finally read it. When I look at what happens to Emmett and the world we live in today, sadly....not much has changed. We still live in a word where white supremacy exists and some white people feel they're superior to everyone else and can ultimately treat people of color any which way they please. I was blind but over the years, I now finally see. I see how people of color experience oppr ...more
Rebecca Renner
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
A must read. Any review of mine could never do this book justice, so here is a quote from the book itself:

We are still killing black youth because we have not yet killed white supremacy. As a political program white supremacy avers that white people have a right to rule. That is obviously morally unacceptable, and few of its devotees will speak its name. But that enfeebled faith is not nearly so insidious and lethal as its robust, covert and often unconscious cousin: the assumption that God has
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Obsessed with Tru...: The Blood of Emmett Till 5 28 Feb 21, 2018 11:52AM  

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“Somewhere between the fact we know and the anxiety we feel is the reality we live.”5” 6 likes
“Because if we in America have reached the point in our desperate culture where we must murder children, no matter for what reason or what color, we don’t deserve to survive and probably won’t.” 5 likes
More quotes…