Mississippi Trial, 1955

Notes

  1. ^ Accounts are unclear; Till had just completed the seventh grade at the all-black McCosh Elementary School in Chicago (Whitfield, p. 17).
  2. ^ Some recollections of this part of the story relate that news of the incident traveled in both black and white societies very quickly. Others state that Carolyn Bryant refused to tell her husband and Till's oldest cousin Maurice Wright, perhaps put off by Till's bragging and clothes, told Roy Bryant at his store about Till's interaction with Bryant's wife. (Whitfield, p. 19.)
  3. ^ Several major inconsistencies between what Bryant and Milam told interviewer William Bradford Huie and what they had told others were noted by the FBI. They told Huie they were sober, yet reported years later they had been drinking. In the interview, they stated they had driven what would have been 164 miles (264 km) looking for a place to dispose of Till's body, to the cotton gin to obtain the fan, and back again, which the FBI noted would be impossible in the time they were witnessed having returned. Several witnesses recalled that they saw Bryant, Milam, and two or more black men with Till's beaten body in the back of the pickup truck in Glendora, yet they did not admit to being in Glendora to Huie. (FBI, [2006], pp. 86–96.)
  4. ^ Many years later, there were allegations that Till had been castrated. (Mitchell, 2007) John Cothran, the deputy sheriff who was at the scene where Till was removed from the river testified, however, that apart from the decomposition typical of a body being submerged in water, his genitals were intact. (FBI [2006]: Appendix Court transcript, p. 176.) Mamie Till-Mobley also confirmed this in her memoirs. (Till-Bradley and Benson, p. 135.)
  5. ^ When Jet publisher John H. Johnson died in 2005, people who remembered his career considered his decision to publish Till's open casket photograph his greatest moment. Michigan congressman Charles Diggs recalled that for the emotion the image stimulated, it was "probably one of the greatest media products in the last 40 or 50 years". (Dewan, 2005)
  6. ^ Strider was apparently unable to be consistent with his own theory. Following the trial he told a television reporter that should anyone who had sent him hate mail arrive in Mississippi "the same thing's gonna happen to them that happened to Emmett Till". (Whitfield, p. 44.)
  7. ^ The trial transcript reads the line as "There he is", although witnesses recall variations of "Dar he", "Thar he", or "Thar's the one". Wright's family protested that Mose Wright was made to sound illiterate and insists he said "There he is." (Mitchell, 2007)
  8. ^ A month after Huie's article appeared in Look, T. R. M. Howard worked with Olive Arnold Adams of The New York Age to put forth a version of the events that agreed more with the testimony at the trial and what Howard had been told by Frank Young. It appeared as a booklet titled Time Bomb: Mississippi Exposed and the Full Story of Emmett Till. Howard also acted as a source for an as-yet unidentified reporter using the pseudonym Amos Dixon in the California Eagle. Dixon wrote a series of articles implicating three black men, and Leslie Milam, who, Dixon asserted, had participated in Till's murder in some way. Time Bomb and Dixon's articles had no lasting impact in the shaping of public opinion. Huie's article in the far more widely circulated Look became the most commonly accepted version of events. (Beito and Beito, pp. 150–151.)
  9. ^ Such was the animosity toward the murderers that in 1961, while in Texas, when Bryant recognized the license plate of a Tallahatchie County resident, he called out a greeting and identified himself. The resident, upon hearing the name, drove away without speaking to Bryant. (Whitaker, 2005)

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