Emmett Till's Death Inspired a Movement
For African Americans, the murder of Till was evidence of the decades-old codes of violence exacted upon Black men and women for breaking the rules of white supremacy in the Deep South. Particularly for Black males, who found themselves under constant threat of attack or death for sexual advances towards white women – mostly imagined – Till’s murder reverberated a need for immediate change. Carolyn Bryant testified in court that Till had grabbed her hand, and after she pulled away, he followed her behind the counter, clasped her waist, and using vulgar language, told her that he had been with white women before. At 82, some 60 years later, Bryant, confessed to Duke University professor Timothy B. Tyson that she had lied about this entire event.