Summary: Duke University historian Timothy Tyson is available to comment on the death of Carolyn Bryant Donham, who was linked to the horrific death of Black teenager Emmitt Till in 1955. Donham’s accusation that Till grabbed her and made vulgar remarks led to his death. Tyson’s 2017 book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” dealt with the claim.
“Carolyn Bryant Donham was involved in the unspeakable murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago, whose death galvanized the civil rights movement,” says Timothy Tyson, a senior research scholar at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.
“What this narrative keeps us from seeing is the monstrous social order that cared nothing for the life of Emmett Till nor thousands more like him. Neither the federal government nor the government of Mississippi did anything to prevent or punish this murder. Condemning what Donham did is easier than confronting what America was — and is.”
Timothy B. Tyson is a senior research scholar at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and adjunct professor of American studies at the University of North Carolina. His 2017 book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” won the 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, made the “long list” of 10 books for the 2017 National Book Award and was named Best Book of 2017 by both the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution named it Best Southern Book of 2017.
For additional comment, contact Timothy Tyson at:
_ _ _ _
Duke experts on a variety of topics can be found here.
Follow Duke News on Twitter: @DukeNews