Who were Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam?

Who were Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam?

BACK in 1955 Emmett Till was wrongfully accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store.

The 14-year-old boy was murdered by two white men who were then acquitted.

Who were Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam?

Roy Brant and J.W. Milam were both arrested and indicted for murder in 1955.

ABC is dedicating six hours in a mini series about the lynching of Till.

"It’s kind of an unlikely thing," Devery Anderson, the author of “Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement.

"I just want people now to know who Emmett Till was and know about this case," Anderson told The Salt Lake Tribune.

The United States Department of Justice lists information on the Emmett Till case on their official website.

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"They were indicted for murder and tried by a local, all-white jury, which quickly acquitted them," the site states.

Following their acquittal the two men confessed to murdering Till in 1955 to journalist at Look magazine.

On January 24, 1956, Look magazine published the confessions from the two men.

Are Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam still alive?

The two men are now longer alive and died many years ago.

Bryant died on September 1, 1994 about 14 years after Milam.

Milam, whose full first name was John William, died on December 31, 1980.

The Look magazine article that entailed their confession of the murder was titled The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi.

What happened to Emmett Till?

The US Department of Justice lists the incident that happened prior to Till's murder on their website.

Some names in the account of the incident have been removed by the department.

"In 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black youth visiting family in Mississippi, was murdered by white men after XXXXX claimed that Till had propositioned her.

"Till, who was from Chicago, Illinois, visited relatives near Money, Mississippi, during the summer of 1955. On August 24 of that year, he entered XXXX’s Grocery & Meat Market and had an interaction with XXXXX, XXXXX.

"Accounts differ as to precisely what happened during that encounter. Black witnesses who had accompanied Till to the store reported—both near the time of the incident and more recently—that Till’s behavior was limited to whistling at XXXXX as she left the store," the site's description concludes.

The department goes on to explain that although XXXXX suffered no physical harm, the community felt Till violated an 'unwritten code.'

"Till’s conduct was likely perceived by many in the white community to violate their unwritten code, prevalent in the Jim Crow South, that Black men were forbidden from initiating interactions with white women."

Till was abducted from his family's home four days later, the department details.

"His brutally beaten body was found three days later in the Tallahatchie River. Because there did not appear to be a basis for federal jurisdiction given the limited scope of the civil rights statutes in effect in 1955, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did not investigate Till’s murder at that time."

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