Courtroom Where Emmett Till’s Murderers Were Acquitted To Be Converted Into History Museum

A professor at University of Kansas is leading a project to memorialize the horrific killing of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 and the subsequent trial and acquittal of his murderers.

Associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas Dave Tell told HBCU Buzz that he has been writing about the life of Emmett Till for over a decade. Earlier in his career, Tell, with the help of a few of his colleagues created the “Emmett Till Memory Project, an interactive site that depicts 51-geographical sites related to the Emmett Till case.  Through this collaborative effort, Tell and his team plan to use this research as a starting point for the exhibits in the courthouse.

This news comes soon after Carolyn Bryant’s admission that “she lied when she testified in 1955 that Emmett Till touched her,” according to The Clarion-Ledger. But it seems that justice will not be served:

But prosecuting the 82-year-old woman now would be difficult if not impossible because the five-year statute of limitations has run out, experts say.

“It appears that time has once again robbed us of justice in the Emmett Till case,” said former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, who successfully prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan’s 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four girls.

In 2008, Duke University research scholar, author, and historian Timothy Tyson interviewed Ms. Donham and says she admitted that her accusations were lies. “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” she told Tyson.

The Blood of Emmett Till the latest book written by Mr. Tyson was released in late January.


The Tallahatchie county courthouse, which stands in Sumner, Mississippi will display content on screens that illustrate and direct visitors to other sites outside of the courtroom including the grocery store where Emmett came into contact with Donham and the river where his body was dumped after he was brutally beaten and shot in the head.

Bryant and Milam, both deceased, confessed to the murder in an interview published by Look magazine in 1956. Little has been said about whether charges will be brought against Donham. She is currently 82 years old and resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.


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