But now that we’re talking about Emmett Till…I missed the news last January that Carolyn Bryant Donham admitted that most of what she testified about Till was false. It was a week after Trump’s inauguration and I was a little preoccupied.

The woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, spoke to Timothy B. Tyson, a Duke University professor — possibly the only interview she has given to a historian or journalist since shortly after the episode — who has written a book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” to be published next week.

In it, he wrote that she said of her long-ago allegations that Emmett grabbed her and was menacing and sexually crude toward her, “that part is not true.”

Emmett, who lived in Chicago, was visiting relatives in Money, a tiny hamlet in the Mississippi Delta region when, on Aug. 24, 1955, he went into a store owned by Roy and Carolyn Bryant, a married couple, and had his fateful encounter with Ms. Bryant, then 21.

Four days later, he was kidnapped from his uncle’s house, beaten and tortured beyond recognition, and shot in the head. His body was tied with barbed wire to a cotton gin fan and thrown into the Tallahatchie River.

Roy Bryant and his half brother, J. W. Milam, were arrested and charged with murder.

What happened in that store is unclear, but it has usually been portrayed as an example of a black boy from up North unwittingly defying the strict racial mores of the South at the time. Witnesses said that Emmett wolf-whistled at Ms. Bryant, though even that has been called into doubt.

Days after the arrest, Ms. Bryant told her husband’s lawyer that Emmett had insulted her, but said nothing about physical contact, Dr. Tyson said. Five decades later, she told the F.B.I. that he had touched her hand.

But at the trial, she testified — without the jury present — that Emmett had grabbed her hand, she pulled away, and he followed her behind the counter, clasped her waist, and, using vulgar language, told her that he had been with white women before.

“She said that wasn’t true, but that she honestly doesn’t remember exactly what did happen,” Dr. Tyson said in an interview on Friday.

Now here’s a surprise – she told Dyson that Roy Bryant abused her. Who would have thought that a guy who could torture and murder a teenage boy would also abuse his wife?

Dr. Tyson said that in 2008, he got a call from Ms. Donham’s daughter-in-law, who said they had liked another book of his, and wanted to meet him.

It was in that meeting that she spoke to him about the Till case, saying, “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him.”

Dr. Tyson said that motivated him to write about the case.

Ms. Donham told him that soon after the killing, her husband’s family hid her away, moving her from place to place for days, to keep her from talking to law enforcement.

She has said that Roy Bryant, whom she later divorced, was physically abusive to her.

“The circumstances under which she told the story were coercive,” Dr. Tyson said. “She’s horrified by it. There’s clearly a great burden of guilt and sorrow.”

A nightmare all around.

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