​On This Day in History – August 24, 1955: Emmett Till’s Encounter With Carolyn Bryant 

0 Posted by - August 24, 2018 - BLACK CHILDREN, CIVIL RIGHTS, Gone But Not Forgotten, Injustices, LATEST POSTS, Looking Black On Today, Racism

14 year old Emmett Till walked into Roy & Carolyn Bryant’s store that would forever change his life. The stories of their encounter varies.

4 days later, Till was kidnapped from his relatives home, tortured and murdered.

Emmett Till and cousin Curtis Jones skipped church where their Great-Uncle Mose Wright was preaching, joining some local boys as they went to Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market to buy candy. The teenagers were children of sharecroppers and had been picking cotton all day. The market was owned by a white couple, 24-year-old Roy Bryant and his 21-year-old wife Carolyn, and mostly catered to the local sharecropper population.

Carolyn was alone in the store that day; her sister-in-law was in the rear of the store watching children. Jones left Till with the other boys while Jones played checkers across the street. According to Jones, the other boys reported that Till had a photograph of an integrated class at the school he attended in Chicago, and Till bragged to the boys that the white children in the picture were his friends. He pointed to a white girl in the picture, or referred to a picture of a white girl that had come with his new wallet, and said she was his girlfriend.

One or more of the local boys dared Till to speak to Bryant. The facts of what took place in the store are still disputed but according to several versions, including allegations from some of the kids standing outside the store when Till walked in, Till may have wolf-whistled at Bryant.

A newspaper account following his disappearance stated that Till sometimes whistled to alleviate his stuttering. His speech was sometimes unclear; his mother said he had particular difficulty with pronouncing “b” sounds, and may have whistled to overcome problems asking for bubble gum.

Read the rest of the claims of what a happened during the encounter at: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=623177777853305&substory_index=0&id=101575520013536

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  • Lyndia Black August 24, 2018 - 6:10 pm Reply

    Today, I drove past the church (Roberts Temple), that they had his wake and funeral at. I mentioned it to a friend, and talked about how America allowed those 2 heathens to go free.

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    • Pamela DeBose August 8, 2019 - 3:41 pm Reply

      I grew up in Argo,(Summit) Illinois. Emit Till’s family (cousins) lived across the alley from our family. Wheeler Parker was one of the three sons,and there were also three daughters in the Parker family. Wheeler was the son that was allowed to go South with Emmit. They were close in age. Don’t know whether they went by train or were driven down. The night Emmit was kidnapped Wheeler was in the same bedroom with several other boys. They passed him over and inquired as to who the ‘offender ‘ was. They took Emmit that night. At the trial Mose Wright agreed to testify. Even though he was terrified at the prospect of what would happen. After testifying and pointing out the murderers he was hurriedly whisked out town to Argo,Illinois to live with the family of Wheeler Parker.Wheeler’s mother was his niece. They eventually found a place of them own to live once they felt safe enough to come out of hiding. I only saw things thru a child’s eyes,but the adults in the small,close community knew of the story. It was common knowledge. I often wondered why this small-framed coal-Black man walked listlessly up 64th Street daily muttering to himself . He always had a very distant look in his eyes, and of course most of the children on th block thought he was ‘crazy’. Little did I realize that I was daily encountering a dark chapter of history . Wheeler Parker is still alive and pastoring the church he grew up in. His parents and a couple of the cousins that went to Pope, Mississippi that year have passed on. I shall NEVER forget.

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  • Pete August 10, 2019 - 11:02 am Reply

    Carolyn Bryant nephew is the CURRENT GOVERNOR of MISSISSIPPI

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