Emmett Till — Facts Are Facts

In an article in the February issue of American Way Magazine, the author writes that Emmett Till was murdered at the Bryant grocery store in Money, Mississippi.  He repeats this as fact a second time in the article. No version of the events of that night in 1955  that I have read claims that Till was murdered at the Bryant grocery store. The commonly accepted version, based on eyewitness statements, is that he was beaten and shot to death in a plantation in neighboring Sunflower County.

I hesitate to criticize another writer, but in a story this written about there can be little reason for misstating such a key fact. This is particularly so when the author, as he explains, has lived in Mississippi for 30 thirty years.

There is another factual error in an introduction by the editor of the magazine,  who is writing about the murder of two black youths in Southwest Mississippi in 1964 and the 2007 prosecution of James Ford Seale for the crimes. He states that both youths were chained to an old Jeep’s engine block and dumped alive in an offshoot of the Mississippi River. As I detail in my book, “The Past Is Never Dead, The Trial of James Ford Seale and Mississippi’s Struggle For Redemption,” one youth was tied to an engine block and the other to rails.

This is a  small discrepancy and one barely worth noting. Misstating the place where Emmett Till was murdered is quite another matter indeed.

3 thoughts on “Emmett Till — Facts Are Facts

  1. Yes- I noticed this error as well. The locaction of the actual murder was incorrect- however the significance of Bryant’s Grocery is important as it is one of the major “landmarks” for the case. It is in desperate need of repair: emmetttillmuseum.com.

    • You are right –the store is in terrible shape. I know attempts to raise money for its purchase are under way, and I heard, but did not verify, that the owner of the store offered to sell it to the state for a huge sum of money, close to a half a million dollars. The store is listed on the brochure put out by the Emmett Till Commission, and hopefully a way to purchase and maintain it will be found.

  2. I read several years ago that Bryant’s Market was on the verge of collapse then. As far as the inaccuracy facts, I see them so often in all kinds of things I read. I guess some writers think they already know and.write that, or they’re just incredibly lazy at doing proper and thorough research.

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